Reforming Entrapment Doctrine in United States v. Hollingsworth

23 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2007 Last revised: 24 Oct 2007


This short essay, written for a symposium commemorating Richard Posner's twenty-fifth year as a judge, examines Judge Posner's majority opinion for a closely divided en banc decision on the federal entrapment defense. The cases considers a fundamental issue in the meaning of the element of predisposition. Judge Posner crafts a boldly innovative reading of the Supreme Court precedent on the topic, introducing the element of position or readiness to predisposition. I claim the result, properly understood, is to rationalize the doctrine of entrapment.

Keywords: undercover operations, entrapment, predisposition

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

McAdams, Richard H., Reforming Entrapment Doctrine in United States v. Hollingsworth. University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 74, 2007, U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 362, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 185, Available at SSRN:

Richard H. McAdams (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

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