CORE CRIMINAL LAW SUBJECTS: Defenses: Entrapment

2002

United States v. Hall, 56 MJ 432 (in cases involving the affirmative defense of entrapment, the defense has the initial burden of going forward to show that a government agent originated the suggestion to commit the crime; once the defense has come forward, the burden then shifts to the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal design did not originate with the government or that the accused had a predisposition to commit the offense prior to first being approached by Government agents).

(inducement for entrapment is government conduct that creates a substantial risk that an undisposed person or otherwise law-abiding citizen would commit the offense; inducement may take different forms, including pressure, assurances that a person is not doing anything wrong, persuasion, fraudulent representations, threats, coercive tactics, harassment, promises of reward, or pleas based on need, sympathy, or friendship).

(inducement for entrapment cannot be shown if government agents merely provide the opportunity or facilities to commit the crime or use artifice and stratagem).

(a government agentís repeated requests for drugs do not in and of themselves constitute the required inducement).

(evidence of drug possession or use to show predisposition to sell drugs is questionable; but the Court has stopped short of holding that possession or use of drugs is never, under any circumstances, relevant to show predisposition to distribute drugs).

(any error in excluding portions of testimony supporting entrapment defense was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt in light of appellantís own testimony establishing his predisposition to facilitate the transfer of steroids, which was corroborated by testimony of two separate witnesses).


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