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Criminal Procedure keyed to Kamisar
Jacobson v. United States
Citation:503 U.S. 540, 112 S.Ct. 1535, 118 L.Ed.2d 174 (1992)
In February 1984, Jacobson (defendant) ordered two magazines from an adult bookstore. Jacobson expected the magazines to contain photographs of young men 18 years or older, but the photographs were of nude preteen and teenage boys. At the time, Jacobson’s receipt of the magazines was legal under federal and state law.
In May 1984, Congress passed the Child Protection Act which criminalized the receipt through mails of sexually explicit depictions of children. Finding Jacobson’s name on the adult bookstore’s mailing list, the Postal Service and Customs Service launched a series of operations over the course of 26 months to see whether Jacobson would violate the Act. He responded to several surveys from the government, under the guise of fictitious organizations, that he was interested in pre-teen and teenage sexuality, but the government did not otherwise have evidence that he knowingly possessed child pornography.
In 1987, the Postal Service wrote to Jacobson as the “Far Eastern Trading Company Ltd.” and sent him a catalog. Jacobson ordered a magazine containing child pornography. Federal agents arrested Jacobson after a controlled delivery.
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