ANSWERS: 4
  • no solicits the car thieves
  • It has nothing to do with entrapment, if the police want to leave a car sit out in an area and wait till someone steals it then clearly they are just waiting for someone to commit a crime. I don't find anything wrong with that. Thats like saying stores that have cameras is entrapment! They are waiting or recording a crime that may take place.
  • Using a bait car is not entrapment because they are not inducing the suspect to steal the car, or causing them to perform a crime that they would not already commit. Just by having a car there that is available to steal, does not constitute entrapment. Now if an officer was there, and persuaded the person into stealing the bait car [that] would indeed be entrapment. Good question though. When I used to be in law enforcement, I would run into this one once in a while. I would park on the side of the road (usually on the edge of a parking lot) and run radar for a few minutes at a time. Then, when I would pull someone over for speeding (I usually wouldn't bother unless they were +10mph over), they would scream [entrapment]. I'd have to explain to them that I didn't entrap them into going over the speed limit just by having a road available for them to drive on and then monitoring their speed.
  • Actually, the Bait Car show is a tough example because it may actually be entrapment (but more on that in a moment). Generally, bait cars are not entrapment because the cops are not convincing someone to commit a crime. Rather, they are simply setting up a situation that allows a crime to be committed. The Bait Car show is a bad example because it is based in California. California’s entrapment law is a little different from most of the country. Most states and the federal government look at the intent of the defendant when determining if entrapment occurred. That is, if the car was not a bait car, would the defendant have still taken the car? If so, there is no entrapment. California, on the other hand, does not look at the intent of the defendant. Rather, they only look at the conduct of the state. If the conduct of the state is outrageous enough to inspire a normally law abiding citizen to commit a crime, it is entrapment. This subtle difference could make a huge difference in the outcome. In the Bait Car show, the officers stage a scene that advertises that a car with the keys in the ignition is available for the taking. It is this scene (and not he bait car itself) that might be entrapment in California. Since in most states we only look at the conduct of the defendant, the staged scene is irrelevant. In other words, our entrapment analysis must ask: would the defendant have taken the car if the scene was not staged. The answer has to be yes since the defendant obviously did not know the scene was staged when he took the bait car. The result could be different in California because California does not focus on the intent of the defendant.

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