Entrapment is a practice in which a law enforcement agent or agent of the state induces a person to commit a “crime” that the person would have otherwise been unlikely or unwilling to commit.
It “is the conception and planning of an offense by an officer or agent, and the procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion or fraud of the officer or state agent.
Entrapment is a legal defence claimed by an accused person about the evidence provided by the authorities about the possible commission of a crime.
Where the actions of the state threaten the rule of law, As a matter of policy, State-created crime is unacceptable and improper, and to prosecute in such circumstances would be an affront to the public conscience. The ends do not always justify the means.
Entrapment is typically a plausible defense only if there is doubt that the defendant would have acted unlawfully if not for being swayed by a law officer. In general, entrapment may be used as a method of criminal defense in the following situations:
- The idea for the crime came from a governmental agent and not the accused person
- The government agent persuaded the accused to commit the unlawful act.
- The individual would not have committed the crime if not for the government agent
However, it is important to remember that simply providing an individual with the chance or opportunity to perpetrate a crime does not count as entrapment.
Entrapment focuses on the origin of criminal intent. If the criminal intent originates with the government or law enforcement, the defendant is entrapped and can assert the defense. If the criminal intent originates with the defendant, then the defendant is acting independently can be convicted of the crime.
The two tests of entrapment are subjective entrapment and objective entrapment.