Monday, May 19, 2014

Jacobson v. US case brief summary

Jacobson v. US
  • It was reported that D had ordered magazines depicting nude minors through the mail, prior to laws prohibiting this. He claimed that he was expecting magazines with young men 18 or older.
  • Over a period of 3 years government agents, pretending to be organizations promoting freedom of expression, contacted him and encouraged the purchase of child porn.
  • Eventually he gave in and purchased a magazine; when it arrive he was arrested
SC: Majority believed the government created the predisposition over a long period of time.
  • Fantasies do not show a predisposition to actually break the law. Predisposition to break the law must be present prior to government contact.
  • Descent argues (subjective) that its not when the government contacts the defendant but when the defendant commits the crime determines the predisposition. It’s the juries’ job to determine if a predisposition exists or whether entrapment occurred.
2. Objective Test (focuses on the governments conduct)
Is the government conduct likely to induce someone to commit a crime he/she would not otherwise do so?
  • Predisposition not an issue
  • Based solely on government’s conduct
  • Court must determine if police conduct rises to the level of entrapment
Majority believe that entrapment should be read into a criminal statute.
Minority believes that if that is what the legislature intended, it would have written it into the statute.
3. Outrageous Conduct
  • US Supreme Court recognizes the defense, however it has never found a set of circumstances that fits this defense.
  • While we may someday be presented with a situation in which the conduct of law enforcement agents is so outrages that due process principles would absolutely bar the government from invoking judicial processes to obtain a conviction . . . the instant case is distinctly not of that breed. US v. Russell

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