Entrapment Defense

Entrapment has been described as one of the most controversial affirmative defense which is allowed by the criminal law. The defense involves a defendant claiming that the law enforcement officer trapped him or her into committing a crime. As a defense it should be established that the government officer or agent came up with the idea of the crime and persuaded the defendant to engage in it. In a situation where the crime was promoted by any other person than the government agent the defendant can not plead entrapment. The premise of this defense is basically to deter the law enforcers from engaging in a reprehensible manner by persuading or inducing a person who is not disposed to criminal activity to engage in it. In the course of carrying out their investigative duties government agents are allowed to use deception but only to the extent of collecting important information or when fighting crime. This defense is not available if the officer presented an opportunity for a person who would have committed a crime to do it. (Marvin Zalman 2006)

It is required that a defendant who pleads this defense to prove that they had not intent of committing a crime. Court of law usually determines whether the defendant was predisposed to commit a crime. This is usually done through looking at the defendants previous record, whether he or she has any criminal record. Predisposition is usually found if the person involved had been convicted or has engaged in a crime similar to the one being charged. If the person is willing and ready to commit the crime then the law enforcement agent only provided the opportunity therefore one can not plead entrapment. (Dworkin, G 1992)

Entrapment defense has four elements which must be proved by the defendant, first he or she should convince the court that the government agent induced him or her to commit the crime, secondly the initiation to commit the crime came from the agent and not the defendant. Thirdly the accused was not willing to commit the crime before he or she was approached by the officer. Lastly the government is not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was not entrapped.
This defense is not applicable in all states, some have excluded it arguing that a person who can be induced to commit a crime is as guilt as charged.


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