Coercion (Political Science)

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  • A legal term in British and American law used when one is forced, physically or mentally, to do an act that one would not do otherwise. “A person is guilty of criminal coercion if, with purpose unlawfully to restrict another's freedom of action to his detriment, he threatens to: commit any criminal offense; accuse anyone of committing a criminal offense; expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute; or take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action” (Model Penal Code Section 212.5). Coercion also refers to physical or mental force used by officials to produce a confession. The question of the “voluntariness” of ...

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