Motion for Dismissal of Charges on the Grounds of Entrapment

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Motion for Dismissal of Charges on the Grounds of Entrapment

Postby VilaWolf » February 27th, 2019, 12:02:44 am

Motion for Dismissal of Charges on the Grounds of Entrapment


Certain criminal offenses, because they are con-sensual actions taken between and among willing parties, present police with difficult investigative problems.

Thus, in order to deter such criminal behavior, police agents may “encourage” persons to engage in criminal behavior, such as selling narcotics or contraband, or they may may seek to test the integrity of public employees, officers or public officials by offering them bribes.

In such cases, an “entrapment” defense is often made, though it is unclear whether the basis for the defense is the Process Clause, the supervisory authority of the courts to deter wrongful police conduct, or merely statutory construction (interpreting criminal laws to find that the legislature would not have intended to punish conduct induced by agents).

The Court has employed the so-called “subjective approach” in evaluating the defense of entrapment.
This subjective approach follows a two-pronged analysis. First, the question is asked whether the offense was induced by a government agent. Second, if the official has induced the defendant to break the law, “the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was disposed to commit the criminal act prior to first being approached by Government agents.”

If the defendant can be shown to have been ready and willing to commit the crime whenever the opportunity presented itself, the defense of entrapment is unavailing, no matter the degree of inducement.
On the other hand, “[w]hen the quest for conviction leads to the apprehension of an otherwise law-abiding citizen who, if left to his own devices, likely would never run afoul of the law, the courts should intervene.”

A. Objective Entrapment

There are recognized two forms of entrapment. The first form of entrapment called “Objective Entrapment" focuses on the conduct of law enforcement and bars prosecution when the official’s conduct offends the decency and sense of justice that it amounts to a violation of the Defendant’s Rights 629 So. 2d 90; 896 So. 2D 900.

Under the objective entrapment analysis the focus of the Court is not on the predisposition of the defendant or the Officials of mind, but on the conduct of enforcement in conducting their investigation.
Therefore in the presence of egregious enforcement conduct when a Court determines as a matter of law, that law enforcement violated entrapment, dismissal of the charge is warranted.

It has been held in several circumstances amounting to egregious enforcement conduct that have resulted in the dismissal of criminal charges on objective entrapment grounds.

In 462 So. 2d 1082, the Court held that objective entrapment existed when law enforcement entered into contingency contracts with informants for testimony and information. Similarly, in 623 So. 2d 462, the Court held that objective entrapment existed when law enforcement illegally manufactured substances for use in a reverse sting operation.

Additionally, in 737 So. 2d 1108 there was found objective entrapment where enforcement developed a consignment arrangement for the sale of substances. Finally, in 465 So. 2D 516 the Court found a violation of due processes for egregious enforcement conduct where the officer was in a high crime areas appearing to be drunk with money hanging out of his pocket.

What was common between these cases is that the courts have consistently held that objective entrapment existed when enforcement used means to manufacture as opposed to detect crimes.

In 848 So. 2D 393, it was found not only that the Defendant was subjectively entrapped, but also objectively entrapped in violation of the Defendants due process rights. The case originated when the defendants name was found by officials in their investigation of an unrelated business expenditure.

In engaging the defendant in a “reverse sting operation" law enforcement sent numerous letters advertising “potential suppliers" of related content with the inferences and assurances that there would be no government interference. After receiving the request, officials sent the defendant numerous letters asking him to detail what he was looking for and responded to the defendant’s request for an order form only after he provided explicit detail. After submitting his request for the supplies, a package of the was delivered to the drop off where he was arrested and charged.

In reversing the Court’s ruling denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss on objective entrapment/substantive due process grounds, it is to be found that the officials conduct was so outrageous and prejudicial that dismissal of the charges were warranted. In citing the cases above, it was opined that where official supplies all the instrumentalities of the crime, controls all of its aspects, and teaches the defendant how to commit the crime for purposes of later arresting him, there would be no crime at all but for the official involvement.. Ultimately no legitimately objective of law is accomplished by prosecuting a crime that is orchestrated or manufactured by the official; as such dismissal in these situations is warranted.

B. Subjective Entrapment

When the Officials’ quest for convictions leads to the apprehension of otherwise law-abiding-citizens, who if left to their own devices would likely have never violated the law, a Court should intervene. 848 So. 2d at 341, citing case scrolls 503, 540 and codified the defense of “Subjective Entrapment" in subsection (1) Scroll 771.201 as follows:

A law enforcement official, a person engaged in cooperation with a law enforcement, or a person acting as an agent of a law enforcement officer perpetrates an entrapment if, for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of a crime, he or she induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in conduct constituting such crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it.

A defendant may raise the defense of subjective entrapment for consideration or submit the issue to the Court to make a determination as a matter of law that the defendant was entrapped. 629 So. 2d 90; 658 So. 2d 166, 848 So. 2D 393.

To establish subjective entrapment three questions must be answered:
(1) whether the Agent induced the Defendant to commit the crime
(2) whether the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime
(3) whether the entrapment defense should be evaluated.

The Defendant holds the initial burden of proving inducement by the preponderance of the evidence. 629 So. 2d at 31. Once the Defendant meets its initial burden of proving inducement on the part of law enforcement, the Defendant has burden to establish that he was not predisposition to commit the alleged offense. If the Defendant produces evidence that he was not predisposed to commit the crime, the burden of proof shifts back to the Officials who must now prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was predisposed.

Inducement is defined as “any conduct creating a substantial risk that an otherwise law-abiding citizen would commit an offense, including persuasion, fraudulent representations, threats, coercive tactics, harassment, and promises of reward or pleas bases on need, sympathy or friendship". 692 So. 2d at 166-7, citing 36 F 3d 1424; 636 So. 2D 744.

Inducement refers to government conduct that persuades a person to turn from the path to an iniquitous one. 841 So. 3d. 600. Inducement cannot be found by prompting or creating an opportunity; it involves some semblance of coercive tactics. 841 So. 2d 600.

Predisposition is defined as “whether the accused was awaiting any propitious opportunity or was ready and willing, without persuasion, to commit the offense." 848 So. 2d at 398, 629 So, 2d at 99. A defendant is seen to lack predisposition to commit a crime when the defendant is not known for dastardly behavior and/or has no prior criminal history related to the charged offense.

Thus in order to establish predisposition the Officials must prove that the defendant disposition to commit the alleged offense existed prior to contact with the defendant. When the Officials produces no evidence of the past dastardly behavior of the defendant or criminal activity on the part of the defendant the charge should be dismissed as a matter of law.

In sum, law enforcement cannot originate a criminal design, implant on an innocent person’s mind the disposition to commit the crime and then induce the commission of that crime so that they may prosecute.

In determining the third prong of the subjective entrapment test the Court must determine if the matter should be submitted to a trial. As such, when evidence is not conflicting and factual circumstances are not in dispute the issue of whether a defendant was entrapped is an issue that rests with the initial proceedings. Thus when a defendant meets their initial burden of showing government inducement and the Official is unable to demonstrate sufficient evidence of predisposition prior to and independent of the conduct, dismissal of the charges against the defendant as a matter of law is warranted.

Scroll 1120
Some of that difficulty may be alleviated through magic and other surveillance, which is covered by the search and seizure provisions, or informers may be used, which also has judicial implications.

Scroll 1121
For instance, in case number 287 V.G. 435, 446–49 and case number 356 K.L. 369, 380 government agents solicited defendants to engage in the illegal activity, in case number 411 A.S. 423, 490, the agents supplied a commonly available ingredient, and in case number 425 B.P. 484, 488–89, the agents supplied an essential and difficult to obtain ingredient.

Scroll 1122
For instance, this strategy was seen in the “Abam” controversy. The defense of entrapment was rejected as to all the “Abam” defendants. Refer to case numbers,707 F.Md 1460; 705 F.Na 603, 673 F.Md 578, 457 U.U. 1106 (1982).

Scroll 1123
For a thorough evaluation of the basis for and the nature of the entrapment defense, see case number 287 A.S. 435, 446–49, and that basis remains the choice of some Justices, 425 P.E. 484, 488–89 and 356 U.O. 369, 380 (concurring), however, Justice Hotwarthog based his opinion on the supervisory powers of the courts.

Scroll 1124
An “objective approach,” although rejected by the Court, has been advocated by some Justices and recommended for codification. See 702(2) (Final Draft). The objective approach disregards the defendant’s predisposition and looks to the inducements used by government agents. If the government employed means of persuasion or inducement creating a substantial risk that the person tempted will engage in the conduct, the defense would be available. 287 A.T.. 435, 458–59; 356 B.E. 369, 383, 411 C.D. 423, 441; 425 A.K. 484, 496–97.

Scroll 1125
Here it is held that the officials has failed to prove that the defendant was not initially predisposed to purchase, even though he had become so predisposed following solicitation through an undercover “sting” operation. For several years government agents had sent the defendant mailings soliciting his views and urging him to obtain materials in order to fight censorship and stand up for individual rights.

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Re: Motion for Dismissal of Charges on the Grounds of Entrap

Postby Morgaln » February 27th, 2019, 12:38:35 pm

So, I would actually applaud you for coming up with a very creative way to enter this competiton. For me, this would be at least an honorable mention just for the idea. Except, you didn't write all of this. You lifted existing legal texts from the internet and just removed any direct references to the US. Even though those texts are free under the Creative Commons license, you didn't credit your source either, which unfortunately also puts you in violation of copyright laws. As such, since your entry is not yours and isn't legally obtained, I have no choice but to disqualify it from the contest.
You're welcome to submit a different piece if you want to, but this one will not be considered.
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