This article examines how sentencing enhancement schemes play into undercover operations and manipulation ploys. This article reviews entrapment doctrines, starting with the common law principles of unclean hands and estoppel, to settled principles of objective and subjective entrapment. Through principles of conspiracy, the undercover operation ensnares perpetrators who intend factually impossible crimes, as long as an overt step is taken. Sentencing enhancement crimes, induced by government agents, must be proven before a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. A reciprocal corollary is that the accused must be able to defend enhancement accusations through defenses such as sentencing manipulation and sentencing entrapment. Such manipulation has encouraged a venal war on the underclass. Mass arrests by rogue undercover agents have accounted for wrongful convictions and loss of society. Civil rights law suits and undercover standards belatedly redress the issues. The good and evil characters become indistinguishable. Part II examines Common Law Entrapment through the equitable principles of Estoppel and Unclean Hands. Entrapment is a fundamental defense designed to shield the integrity of the courts and fulfill a fiduciary obligation to steer citizens from crime.
Part III reviews Undercover Operations and current entrapment doctrine. Undercover operations frequently promote excessive inducements. Part IV examines sentencing entrapment and sentencing manipulation doctrines as a cognizable defense to sentencing enhancement charges. Sentencing enhancement factors, frequently mandatory, are facts related to the offense which may increase a person’s sentence. Although the prosecutor has jurisdiction to determine the breadth of investigation, the courts may pierce the prosecutorial veil of discretion. Part V reviews the overlay of sentencing law and enhancement offenses and procedural tactics. The prosecutor’s burden to prove sentence enhancement factors beyond a reasonable doubt before a jury obliges a necessary corollary that the accused has an independent Sixth Amendment right to present defenses to the enhancement factors. Formal sentencing entrapment defenses, however, are frequently rejected.
Part VI considers entrapment through the lenses of conspiracy and governmental influences on the suspect’s mens rea. Conspiracy prosecutions for imaginary crimes are abundant, where impossibility is no defense. Internet pornography and fantasy speech are convenient targets for high-tech sting operations. Part VII unravels Corruption of Police forces and disreputable undercover operations which have lead to the faulty incarceration of hundreds of minorities. Tulia, Texas is a model example of jurisprudential corruption invoking Civil Rights remedies, Reconciliation Committees, statutory changes, and Standards for Undercover Operations. The Article concludes with the overlay of entrapment and manipulation on our body politic.
Carter, Derrick Augustus
"To Catch the Lion, Tether the Goat: Entrapment, Conspiracy, and Sentencing Manipulation,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 42
, Article 4.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol42/iss1/4