Case Briefs and the Entrapment Defense
Title: Jacobson v. the United States 503 U.S. 540 (1992)
The defendant was arrested and imprisoned for knowingly receiving sexually explicit materials
involving a minor following a twenty-six month of a sting operation which was mainly targeting
individuals who were concerned with child pornography trade.
issue was whether the government was guilty of entrapment and if it was should the conviction
of the defendant.
The sentencing has overturned the ruling and decided that the defendant was entrapped.
court decided that Mr. Jacobson initial purchase of child pornography should not be used as
evidence of a predisposition for breaking the law.
➢ Dissenting Opinions:
According to the dissent, the evidence present convinced the judges that the defendant was
predisposed to commit the offense.
(Supreme Court. 1992)
Title: Sherman v. the United States, 356 U.S. 369 (1958)
The accused was convicted of selling narcotics.
Sherman met an informant of the government at medical care when they were both seeking
treatment for drug addiction.
In this case, the issue was whether the ruling should stand or if it was a case of entrapment.
The jury reversed the conviction, and the defendant was remanded.
The opinion of the judges was that there must be a distinction between a trap for an unwitting
citizen and unwitting citizen.
➢ Dissenting Opinions: there were no dissenting opinions.
The case study
➢ Considering this incident, while operating as an undercover agent in an area best known
for drug trafficking, you noticed a car stopping at the junction waiting for the traffic
lights to show.
➢ The first question will be whether you had a probable cause for initiating the encounter.
➢ The next step will be establishing whether the defendant was persuaded by the
government to commit the offense, would the individual have committed the crime
without the government involvement.
➢ Also, if the defense is subjective, then one can show the past criminal record of the
➢ If it is an objective case, however, the criminal history of the person will not be relevant
➢ If the person did not want to purchase the drug, then the officer’s action could not
encourage him to buy the drug in any way.
➢ There is a significant distinction between providing a chance to commit a crime and
entrapment. For instance, if a predisposition exists for committing this form of offense
then it will be hard to use entrapment as a defense mainly because from your previous
action, it is evident you will commit the offense without the police involvement.
➢ If the drug being exchanged in this incidence was marijuana, and it occurred in a state
then the crime history of the defendant and the location would dictate if it was a
misdemeanor charge or felony.
The charge of possession is a misdemeanor crime on its own n Oklahoma.
if it a subsequent crime or if the possession is less th...
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