The Supreme Court was correct in its decision to throw out charges against a Nebraska farmer who was brought up for buying child pornography.
For two years, the government left ads for the material in the farmer’s mailbox. Finally, he decided to buy some and he got nailed.
The justices voted 5-4 that it’s wrong for the government to plant a seed in people’s minds and then arrest them if and when they act. It’s really no different than getting booked for battery after this common bar situation: “C’mon. C’mon. Hit me. Go on. Hit me …”
People act on temptation and have since the dawn of time. The High Court ruled that the farmer never would have purchased the child porn if the postal agents hadn’t kept luring him into it. Police shouldn’t arrest anyone that they persuaded to commit evil.
Law enforcement authorities are worried the ruling will hamper their investigations, but that wasn’t the point. This ruling protects people from enticement to break the law. Innocent people should not be the victims of sting operations.
Anyway, justices say the new law won’t stop undercover investigations into major crime.
If people genuinely are breaking the law, police should be able to get them for what they’re doing. Dangling tempting bait is just asking for trouble: The police shouldn’t be looking for it or be happy for getting it.