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Rosemond v. United States

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Rosemond appealed a conviction regarding aiding and abetting the use of a gun in connection with drug trafficking.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A person can be convicted for aiding and abetting a crime if the person commits an act in furtherance of the crime with the intent to facilitate the crime.

    Facts.

    Rosemond took part in a drug deal where a third-party buyer ran off with the drugs without issuing payment. Someone in Rosemond’s party fired gunshots at the buyer as he fled and Rosemond was charged with aiding and abetting the use of a gun in connection with drug trafficking. The district court convicted Rosemond and the circuit court of appeals affirmed.

    Issue.

    Whether a person can be convicted for aiding and abetting a crime if the person commits an act in furtherance of the crime with the intent to facilitate the crime?

    Held.

    Yes. Rosemond’s judgment is vacated. The jury instructions did not specify that Rosemond was required to have advanced knowledge that his co-conspirators were equipped with a gun.

    Dissent.

    (Alito, J.) The new rule that the aider and abettor has the opportunity to refrain form the crime after learning of the presence of a gun is improper. A defendant should be required to prove necessity and duress, and “advanced knowledge” should include information that is discovered while the crime is in progress.


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