Entrapment Issue On Appeal

by | Apr 30, 2023

This firm recently raised the issue of entrapment in the criminal case of State v. Kevin Hayes (no relation to this firm!) and successfully argued that the trial court should have instructed the jury about the entrapment defense. Unfortunately, while the Court of Appeals agreed that an error had occurred, it ultimately concluded that the error was not egregious enough to order a new trial. In short, the Court conducts a “prejudice” analysis to determine whether “there is a reasonable possibility that, had the error in question not been committed, a different result would have been reached at the trial.” The Court concluded that even if the jury had been properly instructed on the entrapment theory, no real possibility existed that they would have concluded that the defendant had been entrapped.

The defendant in this case no doubt would have had a better argument if he had been represented at trial by an attorney who could have developed more evidence in his favor. Instead, the defendant decided to represent himself, which is known as proceeding pro se. Appeals can be compared to making lemonade when life gives you lemons, but sometimes even the lemons — the evidence at trial — are not ripe enough to develop into an winning appeal.

The full text of this case can be accessed HERE.

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