Jacobson v. United States

PETITIONER: Keith Jacobson
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Residence of Jacobson

DOCKET NO.: 90-1124
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

CITATION: 503 US 540 (1992)
ARGUED: Nov 06, 1991
DECIDED: Apr 06, 1992

ADVOCATES:
George H. Moyer, Jr. - on behalf of the Petitioner
Paul J. Larkin, Jr. - on behalf of the Respondent

Facts of the case

Before the Child Protection Act of 1984 rendered it illegal, Keith Jacobson, the petitioner, purchased a magazine including photographs of nude minors. In 1985, government agencies began investigating Jacobson's interest in child pornography. Over the course of about 2 ½ years, they sent him mailings from 5 fictitious organizations and one non-existent pen pal all promoting sexual liberation and challenging government censorship. After Jacobson was somewhat responsive, a government agency attempted to sting him by selling him child pornography which he purchased, resulting in his arrest and conviction. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed.

Question

Did the prosecution against Jacobson prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that agencies of the United States Government did not incite his violation of the Child Protection Act?

Media for Jacobson v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 06, 1991 in Jacobson v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 06, 1992 in Jacobson v. United States

William H. Rehnquist:

I have the opinion for the Court to announce in No. 90-1124, Jacobson against the United States.

For the reason stated in an opinion filed with the Clerk today, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is reversed.

Justice O'Connor has filed a dissenting opinion in which I, Justice Kennedy joined, and in which Justice Scalia joined except as to part two.