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The Entrapment in Criminal Law Essay

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Updated: May 10th, 2022

History of entrapment as a defense

According to Scheb (2010), entrapment is viewed as the inducing of a person to commit a crime. Basically, it is trapping a criminal into committing a crime as a means of gathering criminal evidence against the defendant. However, entrapment can also be used as a defense by the suspect. From this perspective, the law views that the defendant was coerced or was induced into getting into a criminal act that was not initially intended. Therefore, entrapment can only be deemed to be a defense, if the accused was innocent or was a suspect who never intended to act in the crime (Scheb, 2010). Moreover, entrapment is treated as a defense, if the act of crime was initiated by the government through its agents. In addition, entrapment can be a defense if the government agents created an opportunity for the crime to be executed by aiding and persuading the defendant. For the entrapment case to be used as a defense, the defendant should not have exhibited the intent of committing a crime prior to the entrapment (Scheb, 2010).

Entrapment was initially used by governments to nub criminals dealing in drugs and illegal arms. In most cases, the undercover officers use entrapment to prosecute criminals. The most prolific landmark case that brought entrapment into the limelight was first evidenced in the year 1864 in the United States. During this period a judge in the United States rejected the use of entrapment as a defense, arguing that this compromised the law. For example, issues related to the subjectivity and objectivity of the entrapment were raised. This evaluates whether the law enforcers use entrapment in an objective manner. On the other hand, the subjectivity of the entrapment evaluates whether the defendant intentionally committed the crime (Scheb, 2010).

In the case of Paula and Joseph, Paula used entrapment to arrest Joseph for possessing illegal drugs. Nonetheless, Paula’s use of entrapment does not pass the objectivity test considering that she further alleged to engage in sex with Joseph, if they used cocaine. In addition, Joseph who is the defendant had earlier declined Paula’s suggestions. However, the defendant did not possess cocaine, but marijuana. This indicates that his state of mind was predisposed to act in a criminal manner.

Objectivity test for entrapment

Most likely, Joseph’s case would be dismissed on the basis that he was not expecting to be entrapped by sex to commit a crime. At first, Joseph had declined and a further action by Paula to offer sex became tempting. Therefore, a state that objectively tests entrapment might dismiss the case. However, Joseph is unlikely to secure a dismissal of the case using entrapment as a defense. Although the objective was to arrest a cocaine drug dealer, Joseph produced another drug exhibiting his capability and intent to engage in criminal acts. This would not make any difference if the defendant committed a crime within a state that subjectively and objectively tests entrapment. As a person of sound mind, one should not commit acts of crime whether it is entrapment or not.

Different drug

Legally, the objectivity of the entrapment as used by Paula would change the case scenario. First, the objective was to arrest Joseph for possession of cocaine. However, cocaine and marijuana are categorized as illegal drugs and thus it makes no difference as to what drug was produced. As a matter of fact, Joseph had earlier agreed to bring cocaine with him, showing signs that he used drugs. Joseph produced a huge amount of marijuana a sign that he might also be involved in the selling of such drugs.

Reference

Scheb, M., J. (2010). Criminal law and procedure. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

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