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Is the lack of resistance consent?

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ablakelybrooks | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:15 PM via web

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Is the lack of resistance consent?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM (Answer #1)

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You have asked this question with regard to criminal justice, so I will answer it in that context.  However, the answer is really the same in every context.  Lack of resistance is not consent.  Consent is voluntarily given; lack of resistance is not necessarily voluntary.

Let us think for a moment about a situation in which Person A gives money to Person B.  Here, we can see the difference between consent and lack of resistance.  If A and B are friends, B might come to A and ask for a loan.  A might agree and they will go down to the ATM to get the money.  That is consent and it is voluntary.  Now imagine that A is at the ATM when B comes and threatens him with a gun.  A does not want to die or be badly harmed so he does not resist.  He knows he cannot resist a gun effectively and he would rather give up the money than be harmed.  He gives B the money.  But this is not really voluntary.  Without the coercion represented by the gun, he would never have given B the money.

Therefore, lack of resistance is not consent.

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