Guilty till proven innocent!
This is usually said as a joke, or snidely as a smear on the injustice that takes place in our judicial system everyday. But rarely do Americans actually believe it’s true. My son didn’t believe he did anything wrong when we went to meet an adult for consensual sex. In his interrogation they said he was ‘in the hot seat’. He replied, honestly, ‘No I’m not’. Yet in some state you are required to prove your innocence when accused of a crime! Wait, what?!?!?
Under federal law, the government has the burden of showing that a defendant has a predisposition beyond a reasonable doubt. Jacobson v. U.S.,503U.S. 540, 546, 112 S.Ct 1535, 118 L.Ed.2d 174 (1992).
In WASHINGTON, the burden falls to the defendant to establish the defense by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’. And that evidence is viewed in FAVOR OF THE STATE!
In a case similar to Jace, ‘Chapman’ wholeheartedly engaged in law enforcement’s inducement, which, under Washington law, is evidence of predisposition but, arguably, is not evidence of predisposition under federal law.
At a typical trial in WA state for these illegal proactive stings, the prosecutor will say things along these lines (this is actually taken from a real case transcript) to prospective jurors:
“anybody ever . . . actually been on Backpage.com? Heard of it? How many of you were aware of the recent news story that the CEO[(chief executive officer)] of Backpage was just arrested for running the largest online brothel in the world?”
The prosecutor continued:
What strikes me as one of my difficulties in this particular case is, is that—so one of the things I intend to do during this case is to present a detective who is going to walk people through the Craigslist Casual Encounter section, and I assure you it’s going to be eyeopening. But I also am not surprised at all that not one person in here raised their hand when I said, “Have you been on the Casual Encounter section?”
Because if you have, you are not going to raise your hand in a group full of people, especially that are all strangers, and say, “You know what? I saw a whole bunch of naked people who are offering sex for money, and oh, by the way, they were offering kids for sale, too,”because it’s kind of difficult to explain what you were doing there, right?I mean, it’s not like you just happened to . . . .
This is casual encounters where you have to click and it actually says,“Are you over 18 to go in here?”. . .. . . .. . .
I am telling you, you have to say, “Yes, I am over 18.” And you know how you do that? Click. And it’s just that simple. So I guess then here—so here is the question: How do I find the people, the person, if there is any, the people who have been on the Casual Encounter section of Craigslist and don’t want to talk about it? How do I do that?
The advertisements that [the Task Force is] using now are on Craigslist, and they are in the Casual Encounter section. . . .The Casual Encounter section of Craigslist is filth like almost no other. . . .Sergeant Rodriguez will tell you about some of the advertisements that they have come across when they do these operations because not only does Sergeant Rodriguez post the advertisements, but while he is responding to people who are responding to him, he is also looking up other ads, people who are offering up children, people who are offering up acts of bestiality, with animals, people offering up all kinds of stuff you cannot believe, and the filthier the better in some respects.
Here is a basic craigslist casual encounters post. Some may find it repulsive, offensive, or insensitive, but what it isn’t is filth. Not illegal. These are human beings looking for a connection with other human beings. Nothing unnatural about it.
I have placed ads on casual encounters in my life. I have even found a few boyfriends off the page. Am I supposed to feel bad about it? Cheap? Dirty? I do not.
Yes, there are a lot of graphic pictures and I am sure some people are looking for or offering up illegal services. But I’ve also seen hookers on a street corner, drug dealers standing out front of establishments, and any number of ‘sketch’ offerings. Doesn’t mean I went to that location looking for those people. Doesn’t mean there is nothing but that offered at those locations. ‘Sketch’ follows real people. Here are hookers on the subway platform – did these people take the subway to find hookers?