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Based on your Phase 4 Key Assignment scenario, you have been advised that the defendant has appealed his case to the District Court of Appeals, and the court has agreed to hear arguments as to the issue of police entrapment. Using material from your text and other credible online sources, answer the following questions:

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Assignment Guidelines

  • Revise the Phase 4 Key Assignment based on instructor feedback and peer review.
  • Address the following, and add your responses to your Key Assignment revision:
    • What is the difference between an intermediate appellate court and a high appellate court? Are they referred to by other names? Explain.
    • What options does the court have regarding the case in question? Be specific.
    • If the appellate court finds that the defense is valid and reverses the judgment, will you be held liable either civilly, criminally, or both? Will the department be held liable?
      • If you or the department is held liable, explain the theory involved.
  • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.
  • The case involves a man
    who was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. The man
    was charged with buying controlled substance from an undercover police officer.
    The undercover police was working an undercover detail in a neighborhood known
    for drug activity. He then notice a vehicle stopped at the intersection waiting
    for the traffic light to change. The man in the vehicle made eye contact with
    the undercover police. The police approached the man and initiated a
    conversation with him. The police ask him if he needs anything and he
    responded, “What do you have?” The
    police asked him what he was looking for, and he responded that he was looking
    to score. The police officer showed him a small bag containing a white powdery
    substance and he asks how much. On being told the price, he hands the police a
    $20 bill and they completed transaction. At that time, the man drove off and is
    stopped a block away by a marked unit. The individual is placed under arrest
    for drug possession and purchasing drugs, and he is taken to jail. At his
    trial, the man claimed that he was a victim of entrapment by the police.
    However, he was found guilty and sentenced to serve 5 years in jail and given
    credit for the 3 months he already had served in jail. The issue at hand is
    whether the man is liable for the 5 year sentence or whether by virtue of being
    entrapped, should be given a gentler treatment. By reviewing different cases
    related to undercover and entrapment, the present paper intends to give a
    verdict as to whether the man should indeed be considered guilty and charged
    for possessing a controlled substance. The first section will first define and
    describe entrapment and how the court normally treat cases of entrapment. The
    best way of addressing the case entails justifying whether the defendant or the
    man alleged to have committed crime was trapped by traffic light or whether he
    was to buy the controlled substance even if there was no traffic light.

    Issues present in the case


    The main issue present in the case is whether the
    appellant is liable for the crime or whether the undercover police used traffic
    light to force and persuade the appellant into committing the crime.

    Decision


    From the case presented, it is apparent that the
    defendant is charged with possession of a controlled substance. At his trial,
    he claimed that he was a victim of entrapment by the police. He was found
    guilty and sentenced to serve 5 years in jail and given credit for the 3 months
    he already had served in jail.

    Reasoning


    To be able to determine the reasoning or the rationale
    that led to the conviction of the defendant, it is important to review similar
    court cases and the verdict that was made during such cases. It is also
    important to understand how courts normally treat the case of entrapment. By
    understanding entrapment and reviewing related cases, it will be possible to
    determine whether the decision by court to convict the appellant is legal or
    not.

    Principally, entrapment entails the use of police laying
    a trap for the defendant or an opportunist to fall into. It is a form of police
    trickery and may result in the police catching the defendant in the act of
    committing the offence. The police officer responsible for entrapment is called
    agent provocateur. Such officer incite a defendant to commit a criminal offence
    which he would not otherwise have committed. In most cases, the court treats
    the case of use of an undercover police officer who does not incite and offence
    and an agent provocateur, who does. A case to justify this involves a case of R
    v. Christou and Wright. This is a case involving entrapment and undercover
    police officers. In this case, the police set up a fake jewellery shop called
    ‘Stardust Jewellers’ in Tottenham in north London. The shop was staffed solely
    by undercover police officers. The intention of the shop was to recover stolen
    property and arrest those who were handling stolen jewellery. The shop had
    hidden recordings equipment and each customer who was trying to sell stolen
    property was recovered. Several customers were charged in respect to numerous
    transactions. The prosecution wished to adduce the recordings in evidence at
    their trials and this was allowed by the trial judge. The defendants tried to
    appeal against their convictions arguing that the evidence of the recordings
    should have been excluded because it have an adverse effect on the fairness of
    the proceedings. However, their appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on
    the basis that the defendants had not been tricked by the police, but they had
    “voluntarily applied themselves to the trick.” The court adds that the police
    officers acting as staff in the shop were on “equal terms” with the customers.
    It was maintained that the defendant were doing in that shop exactly what they
    intended to do an in all probability, they were ready to do it.

    Another case that worth reviewing is the case between
    Williams and another v. DPP. In this case, the police officers left a van
    unattended and unsecured on a busy high street in an area with a high crime
    rate. The van had a load of what looked like cigarette packets, but were in
    fact dummy packets. The undercover police then hid themselves in a nearby
    location and waited for people to steal the cigarette. During the hearing, the
    court held that the police had done nothing to force, persuade, encourage or
    coerce the appellants. They had not acted as agents provocateurs. The court
    maintained that the appellants had acted voluntarily in the absence of any
    pressure from the police and with full understanding of their own dishonesty
    and that the admission of evidence of the police would not have adverse effect
    on the fairness of the proceedings. Several other cases that can be cited and
    reviewed include, but not limited to the case of R v. Stagg and also the case
    of R v. Smurthwaite. All these cases reveals that in a case where the
    undercover police did not coerced, forced, persuade and compel the appellant,
    then the appellant can be held liable for the crime committed.

    Dissenting opinions


    A closer look at the case presented and the way similar
    cases are often approached reveals that courts are often fair in their
    approaches and must first establish whether there was fairness or whether the
    appellant was coerced or persuaded to commit the crime. A closer look at the
    case reveals that the defendant was not persuaded. In fact he was the one who
    initiated the conversation. This implies that he was looking for the controlled
    substances. This means that the charges against him are valid and justifiable.

    Additional questions


    Did
    you have probable cause to approach the defendant while he was parked at the
    traffic light? Why or why not? Defend your answer.


    No, there was no probable
    cause. It was just a matter of trying to find out whether defendant is among
    the victims. This is because he was the one to initiate everything. In other
    words, the undercover police did not have prior knowledge about defendant.

    Do
    you feel that the entrapment defense is a valid one, considering the assignment
    scenario? Why or why not? Defend your answer


    The entrapment defense is
    not valid because the victim was the one who initiated the conversation

    Is
    providing the opportunity for someone to commit a crime the same as entrapment?
    Why or why not?


    No, it is not the same
    because it is not similar to forcing someone to commit a crime

    If
    the substance were marijuana, how much would be needed for a misdemeanor
    charge? A felony?


    It could have been a
    felony because possession of one controlled substance was a
    felony, while the other is a misdemeanor.














    References

    Top of Form

    Mowbray, A. (2007). Cases and
    materials on the European Convention on Human Rights
    . Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press.

    Bottom of Form

    Top of Form

    Hartman, G. R., Mersky, R. M., Tate,
    C. L., & United States. (2004). Landmark Supreme Court cases: The most influential decisions of the
    Supreme Court of the United States
    . New York:
    Facts on File.

    Bottom of Form

    Top of Form

    Bannon, M. E. (2003). A quick
    reference guide to contemporary criminal procedure for law enforcement officers: One hundred
    notable United States Supreme Court decisions and their effect on modern policing in America
    .
    Springfield, Ill: C.C. Thomas.

    Bottom of Form

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