McAdams on "Reforming Entrapment Doctrine in United States v. Hollingsworth"
Should a person willing to offend be able to raise an entrapment defense because he is not actually capable of offending? In a paper recently added to SSRN (see the abstract below), Professor McAdams examines this issue decided a few years ago in a closely divided en banc opinion by the Seventh Circuit, in which Chief Judge Posner wrote the majority opinion deciding in favor of the defendants and Judge Easterbrook wrote one of the dissents.
Reforming Entrapment Doctrine in United States v. Hollingsworth
RICHARD H. MCADAMS
University of Chicago Law School
University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 74, 2007
This short essay, written for a symposium commemorating Richard Posner's twenty-fifth year as a judge, examines Judge Posner's majority opinion for a closely divided en banc decision on the federal entrapment defense. The cases considers a fundamental issue in the meaning of the element of predisposition. Judge Posner crafts a boldly innovative reading of the Supreme Court precedent on the topic, introducing the element of position or readiness to predisposition. I claim the result, properly understood, is to rationalize the doctrine of entrapment.