Bruton (defendant) and Evans were charged with committing armed postal robbery. Bruton and Evans had a joint trial. At trial, a postal inspector testified that Evans orally confessed to him that Evans and Bruton had committed the robbery. The confession was admitted into evidence against Evans, but the trial court instructed the jury that Evans’ confession was inadmissible hearsay against Bruton. Bruton and Evans were both convicted. The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit set aside Evans’ conviction because of the admission of the hearsay confession. However, the Eighth Circuit affirmed Bruton’s conviction because the jury was instructed to disregard the confession with regard to Bruton’s guilt or innocence. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.