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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70693 Find in a Library
Title: Provocation of Offenses by Official Agents
Journal: Revue de droit penal et de criminologie  Volume:60  Issue:4  Dated:(April 1980)  Pages:321-326
Author(s): A DeNauw
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Belgium
Annotation: The nature and consequences of police provocation of offenses in Belgium are analyzed.
Abstract: The question of what constitutes police entrapment must be decided by the judge according to the facts of each case. The degree of activity of the undercover agent is a key factor. Thus, an agent who follows a prostitute because she invited him to do so has not provoked an offense, but an agent who follows a prostitute, laughs and jokes with her, passes himself off as an out-of-towner in search of amusement, and goes to a questionable establishment with her can be accused of entrapment. To be legal, officers' actions must not create such pressure on the will of the offenders that they are unable to make free decisions, as this would provide justification for their actions. Illegal actions taken by official agents to verify an offense are not of legal consequence, but illegal actions committed by official agents to cause rather than to verify an offense constitute entrapment. Even when the preexisting criminal intent of suspects seems certain, the acts of official agents can only provide suspects with an opportunity to carry out an offense. Certain court decisions may appear contradictory, because it is difficult to estimate the moral influence of others on the determination of an offender. Provocation can only occur before or at the time of the offense. If an offense is the result of an illegal action by official agents, nothing is verified, and the police report on the investigation is void. Neither confessions nor evidence obtained in a provocation situation can be used for legal action. However, offenses determined by investigations separate from the illegal act can form the basis for legal proceedings, and the illegal act by official agents does not invalidate previous findings. Notes are furnished.
Index Term(s): Belgium; Entrapment; Laws and Statutes; Police decoys; Rights of the accused; Rules of evidence
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