HAMPTON V. UNITED STATES, 425 U. S. 484 (1976)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hampton v. United States, 425 U.S. 484 (1976)

Hampton v. United States

No. 74-5822

Argued December 1, 1975

Decided April 27, 1976

425 U.S. 484


As a result of selling to Government agents heroin supplied by a Government informant, petitioner was convicted of a federal offense. The Court of Appeals affirmed, rejecting petitioner's argument that, if the jury believed that the drug was supplied to him by the Government informant he should have been acquitted under the defense of entrapment regardless of his predisposition to commit the crime. Petitioner contends that, although such predisposition renders unavailable an entrapment defense, the Government's outrageous conduct in supplying him with the contraband denied him due process.

Held: The judgment is affirmed. Pp. 425 U. S. 488-491; 425 U. S. 491-495.

507 F.2d 832, affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, joined by THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE WHITE, concluded that, where, as here, the Government agents, the Government informant, and the defendant acted in concert with one another, and the defendant conceded a predisposition to commit the crime in question, not only is the defense of entrapment unavailable but also a violation of due process rights cannot properly be claimed. United States v. Russell, 411 U. S. 423. Pp. 425 U. S. 488-491.

MR. JUSTICE POWELL joined by MR JUSTICE BLACKMUN, concluded that Russell, supra, defeats the particular contention here but does not foreclose reliance on due process principles or on this Court's supervisory power to bar conviction of a defendant because of outrageous police conduct in every case, regardless of the circumstances, where the Government is able to prove predisposition. Pp. 425 U. S. 491-495.

REHNQUIST, J., announced the Court's judgment and delivered an opinion, in which BURGER, C.J.,and WHITE, J., joined. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which BLACKMUN, J., joined, post, p. 425 U. S. 491. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which STEWART and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 425 U. S. 495. STEVENS, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Page 425 U. S. 485

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