entrapment

entrapment, in law, the instigation of a crime in the attempt to obtain cause for a criminal prosecution. Situations in which a government operative merely provides the occasion for the commission of a criminal act (e.g., when an undercover agent posing as a narcotics dealer is approached by a would-be customer) do not constitute entrapment. Only when the crime was not initially contemplated by the target is entrapment said to occur: thus, for example, an undercover agent may not recruit a previously law-abiding individual into a drug distribution ring in order to prosecute. Many police operations, especially in the areas of drugs and gambling, raise questions of entrapment, which is available as a defense in a trial.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on entrapment from Fact Monster:

  • Sean Connery - Sean Connery (Thomas Connery) actor Born: 8/25/1930 Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland Academy ...
  • Abscam - Abscam Abscam, U.S. scandal resulting from an investigation begun in 1978 by the Federal Bureau of ...
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones - Catherine Zeta-Jones actress Born: 9/25/1969 Birthplace: Swansea, Wales Best known for her stunning ...
  • Ving Rhames - Ving Rhames (Irving Rhames) film, television, and stage actor Born: 5/12/1959 Birthplace: New York ...
  • John DeLorean - Biography of John DeLorean, Creator of the DeLorean car

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Crime and Law Enforcement