In 1997, Carter (defendant) ran into a bank in New Jersey, jumped behind the customer service desks, and stole $16,000 from the different cash drawers. Carter was charged with federal bank robbery under section 2113, subsection (a) of the United States Code, which required a taking by force or intimidation. Carter claimed that he did not take the money by force or intimidation as required by the subsection of the statute under which he was charged, and before the trial in the district court, asked that the jury be instructed on a “lesser included offense.” The “lesser included offense” was subsection (b) of section 2113, or federal bank larceny. The district court denied Carter’s motion, and Carter was convicted of federal bank robbery. The jury was only instructed to consider whether Carter had violated subsection (a). Carter appealed, claiming that the jury should have been instructed to consider subsection (b) of the statute as well because it was a “lesser included offense.” The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s ruling. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.