The Objective Test of Entrapment in California

"In California, the test for entrapment focuses on the police conduct and is objective. Entrapment is established if the law enforcement conduct is likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the offense. (People v. Barraza (1979) 23 Cal.3d 675 at pp. 689-690.) ' Such a person would normally resist the temptation to commit a crime presented by the simple opportunity to act unlawfully. Official conduct that does no more than offer that opportunity to the suspect - for example, a decoy program - is therefore permissible; but it is impermissible for the police or their agents to pressure the suspect by overbearing conduct such as badgering, cajoling, importuning, or other affirmative acts likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the crime.' (Id. at p. 690.)" (People v. Watson (2000) 22 Cal.4th 220 at p. 223.) Barraza cited two ways to establish entrapment under the objective test. "First, if the actions of the law enforcement agent would generate in a normally law-abiding person a motive for the crime other than ordinary criminal intent, entrapment will be established." (Barraza, at p. 690; Watson, supra, 22 Cal.4th at p. 223.) "Second, affirmative police conduct that would make commission of the crime unusually attractive to a normally law-abiding person will likewise constitute entrapment. Such conduct would include, for example, a guarantee that the act is not illegal or the offense will go undetected, an offer of exorbitant consideration, or any similar enticement." (Barraza, at p. 690.) The court further explained: "There will be no entrapment, however, when the official conduct is found to have gone no further than necessary to assure the suspect that he or she is not being 'set up.' The police remain free to take reasonable, though restrained, steps to gain the confidence of suspects. A contrary rule would unduly hamper law enforcement; indeed, in the case of many of the so-called 'victimless' crimes, it would tend to limit convictions to only the most gullible offenders." (Id. at p. 690, fn. 4.)