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Rosemond v. United States

United States Supreme Court
572 U.S. ___ (2014)


Facts

Justus Rosemond (defendant) took part in an attempted drug deal. Rosemond and two other men drove to an agreed-upon place to sell marijuana to a third-party buyer. The buyer, upon being given the marijuana to inspect, grabbed the drugs and ran. Someone in Rosemond’s party fired several shots at the buyer as he fled. It was unclear from the evidence whether it was Rosemond or another person who fired the shots. Rosemond was charged with aiding and abetting the use of a gun in connection with a drug-trafficking offense. The district court judge instructed the jury that Rosemond should be found guilty of aiding and abetting the crime if: “(1) the defendant knew his cohort used a firearm in the drug trafficking crime, and (2) the defendant knowingly and actively participated in the drug trafficking crime.” The jury convicted Rosemond. Rosemond appealed, arguing that the jury instructions were not specific enough regarding Rosemond’s involvement in the use of the firearm. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kagan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence/Dissent (Alito, J.)

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