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Embattled Senator Yee May Claim He’s A Victim Of Entrapment

Publication Date: 
March 29, 2014
CBS Local San Francisco
Mark Kelly

Professor Robert Weisberg discusses how CA State Senator Leland Yee, who is currently facing corruption charges, will need to prove agents "persistently goaded him into wrongdoing" if he is to use entrapment as a defense. 

Supporters of State Senator Leland Yee say the FBI used entrapment to lure him into alleged criminal wrongdoing.

One defense attorney says entrapment could be Yee’s defense against corruption charges.

Others insist, entrapment as a a defense, is almost impossible to win.


“If I were the defense lawyer, I’d argue it,” said Robert Weisberg, professor,at Stanford’s School of Law. “Still, it’s going to be really hard in this case.”

Professor Weisberg said the entrapment defense is even difficult for everyday drug stings. For example, an undercover agent asks ‘hey, mister, want to buy some drugs?’ Once you say yes, and offer money, the agent can arrest you, and you are not likely to be able to claim entrapment.

Weisberg said Yee’s only chance at the entrapment defense is proving undercover agents persistently goaded him into wrongdoing.