Norris comments on ‘entrapment as a defense’ carried on NPR

Roger Coda
Dr. Jesse Norris

Dr. Jesse Norris

A recent news segment on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” that examined verdicts in the trial of four men charged with plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan in 2020 included commentary by Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Jesse Norris.

The point conveyed by Dr. Norris on the use of entrapment as a defense was that it rarely works, but in this case it resulted in the acquittal of two of four men charged at the state or federal level.

NPR correspondent Odette Yousef, who covers domestic extremism, recently spoke with Norris about the entrapment defense and reported that, according to Norris, it has been used numerous times since 9/11, but had never succeeded in winning an acquittal.

“Critics have been arguing that the FBI is engaging in entrapment in terrorism cases for many years. And one of the FBI's stock responses to that argument is that, well, they've raised the entrapment defense before, and it's always failed. But I think now that argument's gone,” Norris said.

The news report, hosted by Ailsa Chang and aired on April 12, can be seen online.

Norris was previously quoted in The New York Times in an article related to his research on alleged cases of entrapment in U.S. terrorism prosecutions and the PBS series “Frontline” report that examined the legality of federal sting operations in U.S. counterterrorism cases, both in 2021.

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