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Elements of the Crime : Entrapment Defense

A recent Court of Appeals decision succinctly explained the defense of entrapment as follows:

“Entrapment is a criminal defense, and the defendant bears the burden of establishing entrapment by a preponderance of the evidence. The purpose of this defense is to deter abuse of authority by precluding criminal liability for acts that were instigated by the police and committed by those not predisposed to such acts.” People v Akhmedov, 297 Mich App 745, 752; 825 NW2d 688 (2012) (citations omitted). In other words, the entrapment defense exists to prevent the police from engaging in “the manufacturing of crime.” People v Williams, 196 Mich App 656, 665; 493 NW2d 507 (1992).

Accordingly, under these facts, to show entrapment, defendants must demonstrate that “the police engaged in impermissible conduct that would induce a law-abiding person to commit a crime in similar circumstances.” People v Johnson, 466 Mich 491, 498; 647 NW2d 480 (2002) (emphasis added). To determine whether the police have induced “a law-abiding person to commit a crime,” the court considers a variety of factors, including

(1) whether there existed appeals to the defendant’s sympathy as a friend, (2) whether the defendant had been known to commit the crime with which he was charged, (3) whether there were any long time lapses between the investigation and arrest, (4) whether there existed any inducements that would make the commission of a crime unusually attractive to a hypothetical law-abiding citizen, (5) whether there were offers of excessive consideration or other enticement, (6) whether there was a guarantee that the acts alleged as crimes were not illegal, (7) whether, and to what extent, any government pressure existed, (8) whether there existed sexual favors, (9) whether there were any threats of arrest, (10) whether there existed any government procedures that tended to escalate the criminal culpability of the defendant, (11) whether there was police control over any informant, and (12) whether the investigation was targeted. [Id. at 498-499.]


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