Weir (defendant) got into a fight with Ronnie Buchanan in a nightclub parking lot. Buchanan pinned Weir to the ground. Buchanan then jumped up and shouted that he had been stabbed. Weir immediately left the scene. Weir did not report the incident to the police. Buchanan ultimately died of the stab wounds. Weir was charged with murder. At his trial, Weir took the stand and testified that he stabbed Buchanan in self-defense. Weir was then cross-examined by the prosecution as to why Weir had remained silent when arrested and not claimed self-defense or disclosed to the police the location of the knife used to stab Buchanan. A jury found Weir guilty of first-degree manslaughter, and the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed the conviction. Weir then petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus to the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, which was granted. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.