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Jacobson v. United States

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 503 U.S. 540, 112 S. Ct. 1535, 118 L. Ed. 2d 174 (1992)

Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Keith Jacobson (the “defendant”), ordered child pornography through a government sting operation. The defendant argued the defense of entrapment, claiming his order came only after twenty six months of mailings from the government.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The burden of proof is on the state to prove that a defendant is predisposed to violate the law before the government intervenes.


Facts. The defendant ordered child pornography in February of 1984. At the time of the order, the transaction was legal and the defendant claims he was unaware that the material depicted minors. Government agents received the defendant’s name as a potential target for mailings that would eventually lead to the defendant’s purchase of additional child pornography. The mailings came over a period of at least twenty six months, and they included questionnaires and literature advocating the legalization of the child pornography. Eventually, the defendant purchased material because, he argue, they piqued his interest over time.

Issue. Whether the government proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was predisposed to the crime before they solicited him with the mailings?

Content Type: Brief


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