Law School Case Brief
Jimenez v. State - 993 So. 2d 553 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2008)
Under Florida law, there are two distinct entrapment defenses: subjective entrapment and objective entrapment. Objective entrapment arises in the presence of egregious law enforcement conduct and is to be evaluated under the due process provision of Art. I, § 9, Fla. Const. To establish subjective entrapment, unlike objective entrapment, a defendant must show that he was not predisposed to commit the alleged offense. The elements of the subjective entrapment defense have been codified in § 777.201(1), Fla. Stat. (2001).
Defendant Rafael Jimenez entered an open plea of guilty to one count of trafficking in cocaine in Florida state court. He was sentenced to a minimum mandatory term of 15 years in prison. Jimenez then filed a motion for postconviction relief, arguing that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to dismiss based on an entrapment defense. He claimed that he was entrapped into committing the offense by the confidential informant (CI), with whom he had a longstanding friendship, that the CI induced Jimenez to engage in the offense of trafficking by telling Jimenez that the CI was in desperate need of money but that the CI could no longer continue his drug distribution in light of an earlier arrest, and that the CI brought the drugs to his house and arranged for Jimenez to meet the prospective buyers. The court denied the motion for postconviction relief. Jimenez appealed.
Did the court err in denying Jimenez's motion for postconviction relief?
The appellate court found that the allegations concerning the CI's actions were enough to demonstrate inducement and noted that no evidence to refute that claim was presented. Thus, the summary denial of Jimenez's ineffective assistance of counsel claims for failure to file a motion to dismiss based on entrapment and failure to investigate were reversed. The case was remanded for either an evidentiary hearing on entrapment or to attachment portions of the record to refute that claim and to allow Jimenez to amend his motion to state a sufficient claim for failure to investigate. The appellate court concluded that remand was necessary because the ineffective assistance claim was conclusory and did not contain specific facts demonstrating that counsel was ineffective.
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