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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Sherman v. United States
Citation:356 U.S. 369, 78 S.Ct. 819, 2 L.Ed.2d 848.
In late August 1951, Kalchinian, a government informer, met the defendant at a doctor’s office where both were being treated to be cured of a narcotics addiction. They ran into each other several times after that and discussed mutual experiences, problems, and their attempts to overcome addiction to narcotics. One day, Kalchinian asked the defendant if he knew of a good source of narcotics. He asked the defendant to supply him with a source because he was not responding to treatment and he was suffering.
At first, the defendant refused and tried to avoid the topic. After a number of repetitions of the request, the defendant agreed. On three occasions during November 1951, government agents observed the defendant give narcotics to Kalchinian in return for money supplied by the Government.
At the trial, the issue was whether the informer had convinced an otherwise unwilling person to commit a criminal act or whether the defendant was already predisposed to commit the act and exhibited only the natural hesitancy of one acquainted with the narcotics trade. The issue of entrapment went to the jury, and a conviction resulted. The defendant appealed.
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