Law School Case Brief
Morales v. State - 646 So. 2d 211 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994)
The first question to be addressed under the subjective test of entrapment is whether an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged. On this issue, the accused has the burden of proof. If the first question is answered affirmatively, then a second question arises as to whether the accused was predisposed to commit the offense charged. On this second question, the defendant initially has the burden to establish lack of predisposition. The burden then shifts to the prosecution to rebut this evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
On remand from the state supreme court, the appellate court reconsidered its prior decision that defendant Johnny Morales had been entrapped as a matter of law, in conformance with the objective entrapment standard. After the appellate court rendered its opinion, the state supreme court announced in a separate case that the objective test for entrapment was eliminated by the legislative enactment of Fla. Stat. ch. 777.201. The state supreme court further stated that the subjective standard of entrapment was the correct test. Under the subjective standard, the first question to be addressed was whether an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged. If the first question was answered affirmatively, then the second question to be asked was whether the accused was predisposed to commit the offense charged.
Did Morales establish the defense of entrapment under subjective standard of entrapment?
The court reversed and remanded for a new trial so both parties could argue the issue of entrapment under the new subjective test announced by the state supreme court. The court held that neither the State nor the defense could have anticipated the need to satisfy the elements of the new test. The court found that although Morals established the first prong of the test, he failed to prove that he was not predisposed to commit the crime because he was not aware he had to prove that element.
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