Sting Operations versus Entrapment
Entrapment is when law enforcement creates a situation that entices a person to commit a crime that would have otherwise been unlikely to commit. Conradt Terrell shot himself with a gun during a search warrant for soliciting sex from a over-18 aged police decoy who he thought was a 13 year old. No crime was ever committed other than the intent which Terrell never followed up with by going to the boy's house. Was he a person who may have been engaging in fantasy role playing with no intent to victimize children? Shouldn't a sting operation pass a threshold to capture intent?
Interesting question - I would say no. If a person shows intent to commit an illegal act, especially if it's soliciting an underage person for anything, I'm OK with the law doing anything and everything to get them off the streets.
There are certain crimes where the intent is a major factor in the criminal justice system. The United States Federal code focuses on people who knowingly induce or entice underage children across interstate lines for sexual predation.
Although it is laudable that police are taking a proactive approach to protect children who do have unfettered access to the Internet, the justice system needs a standardized protocol system to establish intent in order for a conviction. It is very emotional subject when children are victimized and everyone involved has a extreme motivation to use any means possible to catch as many sexual predators possible before any criminal damage has been done.
Just like a sting operation for adult prostitutes must pass a threshold to capture the intent factor, the same must be done for those behind a keyboard – even a repulsive example of a human being still has the concept that they are protected equally under the law.
A strict protocol of procedures will ensure that convictions will result and also protect those unwittingly, without real intent to become ensnared in the judicial system. In this case – a most heinous crime where simply being falsely accused can result in loss of job, marriage, custody of kids and housing rights.
The sting house set up by Dateline and Perverted Justice were hired as a paid consultant by NBC. "After talking to the decoy on the phone and seeing the decoy on webcam, Conradt turned disgustingly sexual and met the criteria to violate Texas law. He took his own life when he looked out the door and saw there was a bunch of television cameras outside."
There was child pornography found on his computer afterwards.
Personally, I would rather have a conviction for this sicko, but since a TV crew was there telegraphing their involvement, he shot himself instead since this prosecutor already knew that even in prison - pedophiles are considered the 'worst of the worst' and must be put in solitary for protection from the general prison population.
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