Controversies on Police Entrapment


In recent years, controversy has been created by the use of the defence of entrapment. This is a defence in which an accused person claims that the police induced him to commit a crime. The question is whether this is an abuse of the court process or a justifiable reason for dismissing the case. It is a very serious allegation. However, the question is not one of law, but rather a matter for the trial judge.

In most jurisdictions, the prosecution is responsible for proving the defendant’s guilt of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. If the accused is found not guilty of the offence, then the defendant will not be allowed to claim the entrapment defence. To claim entrapment, the accused must demonstrate that the police induced him to commit he offence. There are two ways to prove entrapment: subjective and objective. Historically, most states have used a subjective test in assessing entrapment, while some have used both.

The subjective standard is based on the accused’s state of mind. For example, if an undercover agent approaches a potential drug suspect, the police are not considered to have a motive to induce him to commit a crime. Nevertheless, false promises are commonly included in undercover stings.

On the other hand, objective entrapment involves an assessment of the police’s conduct. When police misconduct results in a criminal offence, the question of whether entrapment was objective or subjective is left to the trial judge.

Entrapment has been controversial for a number of reasons. One of the main factors in the controversy is whether or not a defence of entrapment should be considered a substantive or a procedural defence. A procedural defence may provide an accused with a lighter burden, but this would undermine the State’s ability to fight a crime.

Similarly, a defendant may claim entrapment if he or she has been unable to prove that the police were overbearing or unreasonably aggressive. Some courts have held that the onus of proof is on the defendant to establish that the police were overbearing. Another factor is the type of crime being investigated. Moreover, the court may consider the persistence of the police.

Lastly, the subjectivity of the entrapment question has been debated. In some cases, the Court of Appeal has held that entrapment is not a substantive defence. Other cases, however, have held that it is a procedure-based defence.

The Supreme Court of Canada has addressed the issue of the doctrine of entrapment in three major decisions. These decisions offer the basic rationale behind the doctrine of entrapment in Canada. Among other issues, these decisions address the issue of whether a stay of proceedings is appropriate in the context of entrapment.

The underlying principle is that the integrity of the court should be preserved. Thus, the doctrine of entrapment has been criticized for its reliance on the accused’s state of mind. But, the Supreme Court has concluded that this is not necessary.