Research the concept of police “entrapment,” and discuss the differences between entrapment and the legitimate use of lies by the police.
Differences between Entrapment and the Legitimate Use of Lies by The Police
Law enforcement officers typically operate in a fast-paced environment where the ability to produce substantial results has traditionally taken precedence. The pressures and demands associated with this profession are now linked to an upsurge in the application of unconventional techniques with the sole aim being the attainment of desired ends. Today, the concept of “entrapment” and the legitimate use of lies are common phenomena in law enforcement and the subsequent administration of justice. An in-depth evaluation of both concepts is, therefore, fundamental in order to paint an elaborate picture of inherent differences herein and Biblical implications of their application.
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The legitimate use of lies is, perhaps, the most common police tactic in use, particularly among undercover operatives and during interrogations. Its use may span scenarios where police blatantly deny being members of law enforcement, as is the case during covert operations to implicate drug dealers, or when interviewing individual suspects separately to get them to incriminate their co-accused (Hritz, 2018). For instance, an undercover officer is allowed to lie about their identity when approached by a drug dealer attempting to conduct an illegal drug transaction. Similarly, an investigator can lie to a suspect that their counterpart in the other room has already confessed to being at the scene of a crime and has agreed to become a state witness in a bid to mislead them into making their confession.
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In essence, law enforcement officers are often expected to maximize the use of the interrogation room and use it to their advantage. Legitimate lies, therefore, come in handy especially in scenarios where police initially had a probable cause for arresting a suspect and the amount of evidence linking them to a crime. Controlling the environment using legitimate lies then becomes an invaluable form of persuasion for them to achieve their desired ends. Yet, Jeremiah 48:10 warns against using deceit since it is not associated with God’s work. Legitimate lies make it possible for law enforcement officers to build their case and ultimately lead to a conviction. On the other hand, entrapment is generally considered an illegal police tactic and has, over the years, been applied successfully as a defense by defendants and resulted in the consequent dismissal of court cases. Entrapment entails conscious solicitation by a law enforcement officer to dupe an individual into engaging in an illegal activity or committing a crime (Levanon, 2016).
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While the legitimate use of lies typically entails tricking a suspect to catch them in the act, entrapment may involve creating situations where a suspect is highly likely to break the law leading to their subsequent arrest. Entrapment creates a circumstance that forces an individual to unwittingly break the law as opposed to them viewing it as nothing more than an opportune moment to commit a crime. In such instances, a law enforcement officer may win an individual over using pity or friendship with the primary objective of blinding them to commit a crime. The very act of planting the idea to commit a crime goes against ethical norms in criminal justice and may also be combined with coercion in order to elicit the response initially sought. This inducement becomes a major issue of concern in cases where police use entrapment techniques on individuals who would not ordinarily commit a crime.
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For instance, an undercover officer who succeeds to trick an individual to sell them part of their medical marijuana by claiming that thy don’t have insurance to get them arrested on drug charges may have the case dismissed if the defendant uses entrapment as their defense.
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