The issue before us, Situationers, is succinctly articulated by TChris
A troubling trend that vexes those of us who believe the police should prevent or solve crimes, not manufacture them, is the detective sitting in a chat room posing as a 15 year old waiting to engage in salacious conversation with an adult. Courts have typically held that an adult who travels to meet the "15 year old" for a sexual encounter can be charged with attempted sexual assault of a minor, even though the defendant never chatted with a minor and no actual minor was ever at risk.
TChris's own position on this issue is compelling:
Whether a mistaken belief about a chatter's age (when the belief is induced by a lying law enforcement officer) should lead to any form of criminal liability is questionable. Putting that question aside, it is reasonable to recognize, as Indiana now does (at least until the legislature closes this "loophole"), that people who don't put a child at risk deserve greater leniency than those who do.
It is of course no surprise that he or Jerlayn would take this stance, as standing up for defendants' and/or criminals' rights (unfortunately for some commenters who tried to morph it into a mouthpiece for a particular brand of feminism) is the true backbone of TalkLeft.
But in addition to the Legal Question, there is also a Rhetorical Situation here that needs to be examined. (Oxymoron, for example, continues to argue that when you are watching a football game on television, that the colored first down line is actually on the field. Of course, Oxymoron also once argued that Styx was a great band, so you have to be careful with Oxymoron.)
So, likely all of us on this Board dislike the idea of Entrapment. But will anyone here straight-up say that detectives should stop trolling for "pedophiles" in this manner? Or conversely, will anyone say straight up that the detective posing as a fifteen year old (what if the detective poses as an 8 year-old) is doing the right thing, indeed, protecting children?
Harrogate will leave the light on for you.