Legal Analyst, Attorney Christopher Van Wagner (Van Wagner & Wood, Madison WI) called the Wisconsin Internet stings, "erotic entrapment" in a conversations regarding police entrapment and outrageous government conduct used during these cyber stalking, cybersex, online chat and luring investigations by Wisconsin police officials.
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Entrapment is an affirmative defense to most criminal charges stemming from a law enforcement officer or agent of a law enforcement agency inducing the alleged defendant into committing a crime that he would not otherwise commit. Entrapment is never a defense to a very serious criminal charge such as homicide or felony murder.
Entrapment is most commonly asserted as a defense in sting operations. As an affirmative defense, a defendant who is claiming that he was entrapped is stating, "yes, I did the act of the crime for which you are accusing me, but I should be excused from criminal liability, because absent being lured to the crime or enticement to engage in the criminal activity, I never would have committed such a crime." As such, a defendant is admitting that he committed the act of the crime, and then denying criminal liability because of the methods or means by which he was induced into committing that act. Consequently, under state law, the defendant cannot also deny committing the act of the crime. Conversely, federal law provides that a defendant can both plead not guilty to the act of the crime and claim an affirmative defense of entrapment, however, both defenses are seldom asserted simultaneously.
Outrageous Government Conduct Violation Of Due Process
Absent the fictitious crime created to trap a would-be perpetrator, no crime would be committed. Hence, entrapment could be considered a violation of due process, but the Supreme Court has not required states to adopt entrapment law. Rather, the Supreme Court (in US v. Russell, 411 US 423 (1973)) has vaguely recognized that government conduct can be so outrageous that it bars conviction.
Predisposition To Committing Entrapping Crime
An entrapment defense generally requires the defendant to prove that he never would have committed the crime absent the police trapping him. At the same time, the state will try to show that the defendant was predisposed to committing such a crime so as to negate the entrapment defense.
For example, if the state shows that the defendant readily and quickly responded to a single invitation, then they may be able to establish that the defendant was predisposed to committing the crime. But even if the defendant was predisposed to committing the crime, the state may be required to prove that it was not the government's suggestive nature that caused the predisposition.
In Hampton v. United States (425 US 484), the Supreme Court Justices stated that the Supreme Court's supervisory power to bar conviction of a defendant because of outrageous police conduct exists in every case, regardless of the circumstances, where the Government is able to prove predisposition. In that case, like Russell, the Government agents and informants had worked in unison.
Free First-Impression Case Analysis
If you are under investigation for a crime you were trapped into committing, if you have been charged with a crime, it may help to know that the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood have successfully represented more than hundred felony cases to verdict, overturned trial court decisions through challenges and direct appeals, and prevented charges from being filed against people. The winning record of Attorney Chris Van Wagner & Attorney Tracey Wood evidences their hard working ethics, and their tenacious intelligent representation and years upon years of courtroom litigation experience. The only area of law that those attorneys handle is criminal defense, and they do so without missing a beat. If you need that sort of help or if you have already been convicted of a crime but believe your conviction or sentence were wrong, please call ( in the Madison area, or statewide) the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood for a brief but professional free first-impression analysis of your case. Or you can submit information for a response via email or telephone, or email the attorneys directly at: .