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An affirmative defense in which a defendant alleges that a law enforcement agent or agent of the state acquired the evidence necessary to commence prosecution of the defendant by inducing the defendant to engage in a criminal act that the defendant would not otherwise have committed. see, e.g. Jacobson v. United States, 503 U.S. 540 (1992). Each state has its own case law and statute that outlines when and how the entrapment defense is applicable, and a subjective test for claims of entrapment may be applied, which includes two elements:

  • The defendant's lack of proclivity to conduct in crime
  • The government's inducement of the crime

[Last updated in October of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]