Entrapment

by kpmautner

Speaking of “entrapment” (see yesterday’s post in passing):  in law school, we learned that entrapment happens when the individual is set up into a situation where he or she has no options.  One example was planting drugs on an individual.  When an individual has multiple options for action or inaction, even though the set-up is alluring, this is not entrapment.

Case in point:  Marion Barry back in the 80s.  Marion Barry was a demagogue mayor of DC, playing his politics in the Tammany Hall/Chicago style.  He was arrested, convicted and jailed for possession and distribution of cocaine, and claimed that he was entrapped by the Feds.  Not so.  He was lured into a hotel room by a “professional” woman and offered drugs.  The “professional” was working with the agency in exchange for a deal on her own issues.  She wore a wire and the room had surveillance tapes.  Barry (supposedly “happily married” at the time – his own words) accepted the offer of a tryst and accepted the drugs – all caught on tape.

Barry claimed entrapment.  Not so.  No one forced him to take the woman up on her offer of a tryst.  No one forced drugs into his hands (or dragged the money out of his pockets).  This is a sting, not entrapment.  Yes, it can get shady, but if done properly is quite admissible.

My point being: in yesterday’s post I mentioned a father who claimed that his son was set up by an FBI informant.  If the kid hadn’t been already doing the acts which upset the FBI, and continued to do those acts after he met the informant, (like buying assault rifles and much ammunition) there would have been no reason to arrest him.