skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 99034 Find in a Library
Title: Entrapment - An Ethical Analysis (From Moral Issues in Police Work, P 129-145, 1985, Fredrick A Elliston and Michael Feldberg, ed. - See NCJ-99027)
Author(s): B G Stitt; G G James
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Totowa, NJ 07512
Sale Source: Rowman and Allanheld Publishers
Division of Littlefield, Adams and Co
81 Adams Drive
Totowa, NJ 07512
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that set the test for entrapment, this paper presents the arguments for and against the subjective and objective tests for entrapment, followed by arguments against any police enticements to crime and guidelines for preventing entrapment.
Abstract: In outlining the defense for entrapment, the author reviews the relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Sorrells v. United States (1932), Sherman V. United States (1958), United States v. Russell (1973), and Hampton v. United States (1976). The primary criterion the Supreme Court used in deciding guilt or innocence in these four cases was whether or not the defendant was predisposed to commit crimes of the type charged (subjective test). The Court minority opinions argued for an objective test that would specify rules for police behavior. After reviewing arguments for and against these two types of tests for entrapment, the paper argues against the use of any police tactics to promote rather than detect crime. The author's guidelines for preventing entrapment include (1) permitting the use of techniques for observing law violations without violating citizen privacy; (2) prohibiting the use of friendship, sympathy, and inordinate gain to entice a person to commit crime; and (3) requiring judicial review to show probable cause that a targeted person is engaged in crime. A concluding section describes the implementation of procedures for preventing entrapment. Thirty-five notes are listed
Index Term(s): Entrapment; Police legal limitations; Police policies and procedures; Undercover activity; US Supreme Court decisions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.