Document Type

Article

Abstract

This Article discusses the relatively spare and unsettled case law relating to the staged arrest, reflected primarily in United States v. Archer and Nigrone v. Murtagh. Part III of this Article examines the defense of entrapment, one of the most confusing and controversial legal doctrines, and its application to the staged arrest. Because the staged arrest ineluctably raises questions of offensive government conduct that neither constitutes unlawful entrapment nor invades any independent rights of citizens, part IV considers the analysis of courts that have invoked the due process clause to limit government investigations. In view of the failure of these courts to provide any meaningful due process standards to control police undercover practices, part V sets out objective criteria helpful in evaluating the due process implications of undercover procedures in general, and the staged arrest in particular. Finally, part VI proposes, as a safeguard against government abuse of power, a procedure similar to the warrant procedure for obtaining judicial authorization to conduct certain types of undercover investigations, in this instance a "staged arrest warrant."