Tuesday, November 20, 2012

7th Circuit Rejects Plowman's Appeal

A 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel has affirmed former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Lincoln Plowman's conviction. The court found no error was committed by a U.S. District Court Judge Larry McKinney when he denied an attempt by Lincoln Plowman's defense attorney to offer an entrapment defense during his trial last year on bribery and attempted extortion charges where he was found guilty by a jury on both charges and sentenced to forty months in prison. The entrapment defense requires that the accused be able to offer sufficient evidence that he was induced by the government to commit the crime, and that he lacked a predisposition to commit the crime with which he was charged.

The court found that Plowman's proffer of evidence that he was induced to commit the crime "too vague and conclusory" to be sufficient for an entrapment instruction. "The transcripts overwhelmingly show that Plowman was not entrapped into accepting the bribe," the court wrote. The court noted that the size of the bribe, $5,000, was too small to induce someone to commit a crime he might not otherwise have committed, and that the undercover agent did not mislead Plowman into believing that he was paying him for consulting services as opposed to a quid pro quo for greasing the zoning approval for his proposed strip club. "When Plowman requested money from Mark, the money was not just to reimburse a realtor or attorney, but to help Plowman 'schmooze' other public officials and to line his own pockets." "After the FBI revealed its sting operation, Plowman admitted that he did not have a side business and had not given Mark a receipt for the $5,000," the court reasoned. The court also found that the evidence at trial showed that Plowman was "an active and willing participant" in the bribery scheme.

1 comment:

CircleCityScribe said...

...and Justice is served!

'enough said.