Law School Case Brief
State v. Ramos - 632 So. 2d 1078 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994)
Under the subjective test for entrapment, a court must first determine whether an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged.
Defendants Jose Ramos, Francisco Ramos and Lazaro Diaz were charged with narcotics violations. A Florida trial court dismissed the charges against all defendants under a defense of entrapment. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court's order dismissing charges against Jose Ramos and Francisco Ramos, but affirmed the trial court's order dismissing charges against defendant Lazaro Diaz. On the State's appeal, the Supreme Court of Florida quashed the portion of the opinion dismissing the charges against Lazaro Diaz and remanded for further reconsideration in light of the supreme court's decision in Munoz v. State, wherein the supreme court held that the objective entrapment test was eliminated by the enactment of Section 777.201, Florida Statutes (1987).
Was the dismissal proper?
The appellate court again affirmed the trial court's order dismissing charges against Lazaro Diaz. The court explained that under the subjective test, one must first determine whether an agent of the government induced the accused to commit the offense charged. The court held that Diaz met his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a government agent induced him to commit the crime charged. The unrebutted evidence showed that the confidential informant contacted Diaz approximately 15 or 16 times in order to convince him to get involved in the drug transaction. On the next inquiry on whether the defendant was predisposed to commit the offense charged, the court held that Diaz met his burden of establishing lack of predisposition. Thereafter, the State failed to rebut this evidence and meet its burden of showing predisposition to commit the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. The court also held that because the factual issues were not in dispute, the issue of entrapment did not have to be submitted to the trier of fact and that under the statutory subjective test, Diaz was entrapped as a matter of law.
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