Entrapment

From Academic Kids

For the film, see Entrapment (movie).

In jurisprudence, entrapment is a procedural defense by which a defendant may argue that they should not be held criminally liable for actions which broke the law, because they were induced (or entrapped) by the police to commit said acts. For the defense to be successful, the defendant must demonstrate that the police induced an otherwise unwilling person to commit a crime. However, when a person is predisposed to commit a crime, offering opportunities to commit the crime is not entrapment, such as in the widely held misconception that policemen must answer prostitutes' questions truthfully.

Entrapment is an issue that must be considered in designing sting operations.

John De Lorean was arrested in 1982 for selling cocaine to undercover police; in court, De Lorean argued that the police had asked him to sell them the cocaine (and threatened him as a form of coercion). He was found not guilty. De Lorean's attorney stated in Time (March 19, 1984), "This [was] a fictitious crime. Without the Government, there would be no crime."

The defense of entrapment was unsuccessful in the Abscam operation in which several members of the United States Congress were convicted of accepting bribes.

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