SCOTUSblog: Rosemond v. United States
Issue: The question before the Court is whether the offense of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A) and 2, requires proof of (i) intentional facilitation or encouragement of the use of the firearm, as held by the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, or (ii) simple knowledge that the principal used a firearm during a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime in which the defendant also participated, as held by the Sixth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits.
Holding: In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Government establishes that a defendant aided and abetted a §924(c) violation by proving that the defendant actively participated in the underlying drug trafficking or violent crime with advance knowledge that a confederate would use or carry a gun during the crime’s commission. As a result, the Court ruled that the trial judge's jury instructions were erroneous, and remanded the case to determine whether there was harmless error.