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The 111th U.S. Supreme Court Gun Case

Rosemond v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 1240 (2014)

There are three more SCOTUS gun-related cases that have not been addressed in Page Nine or by Bloomfield Press (my publishing company) yet.

Salinas v. Texas, No. 12-246, 6/17/13
U.S. v. Castleman, No. 12-1371 3/26/14
Abramski v. United States No. 12-1493 (not decided yet)

I'll get to them soon, I promise.
In the meanwhile, check out the first 92 decisions in my award-winning book:
Supreme Court Gun Cases,
written with lawyer-experts David Kopel and Stephen Halbrook.
See the entire list of cases on that page.
If you know of one we missed, speak up.

About this case (Rosemund)--

The lamestream media told you:

When it comes to Supreme Court cases, the "news" descriptions, and what the decision actually says and means are usually night and day. Read the decisions, they are your law, fascinating in most cases. Sickening in how different they are from what the media tells you. The media largely ignored this gun-related case.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

Rosemond concerns whether a prison sentence should be increased because someone during the commission of a drug sale (one pound of pot) fired a gun. Legally speaking, it's about aiding and abetting a crime, and the difference between taking actions, wanting to (known as mens rea, a guilty mind), and foreknowledge of events.

It's an exciting story, with a drug deal, theft of the goods, seven shots from a 9mm with no hits, no gun found, witness stories all over the place, and many facts never established. Havingbrandishing or firing a gun during certain drug crimes increases the sentence (5, 7 and 10 years). It was never determined who exactly fired the gun, but the government sought the added charge and jail time because a gun was used.

Almost half of all federal prisoners are in for drug charges, and 30% of federal dockets are drug cases. This is big business for the "criminal justice" system and all the people who earn their livings there -- cops, special agents, bail bondsmen, law clerks, lawyers, court staffs, jailers, judges, stenographers, reporters, it's a long list. (They really do have a reverse incentive against seeing this sort of crime disappear, it would cost them their jobs.)

What's important to recognize in this case is that the government argued, in essence, that anyone involved in a crime is guilty of all aspects of the crime, no matter who committed them or what you thought. This is extremely dangerous for the public, because it means if you have even remote connection to some illegal act, the government's inclination is to presume you are guilty of the worst part of whatever took place.

That may have some value in dealing with gangs who, as the government pointed out, often act in concert to achieve some criminal end. But it is a terrible precedent for the innocent. Any wrong-minded youth (or adult) who gets mixed up (or suckered into) something, would end up as guilty as the people who are really bad actors, if the authorities have their way. The potential for abuse is too great to allow on those grounds alone. Like RICO forfeiture, they could condemn everything in sight, lock everything up, just for the bad acts of a lone individual.

Now, the Supreme Court shut down this line of thinking 7 to 2, in a decision written by Elana Kagan. This time. But the fact that your government, here to help you, is thinking this way, is a very bad sign.

Guns made it into a footnote denial: [8] "We did not deal in these cases, nor do we here, with defendants who incidentally facilitate a criminal venture rather than actively participate in it. A hypothetical case is the owner of a gun store who sells a firearm to a criminal, knowing but not caring how the gun will be used. We express no view about what sort of facts, if any, would suffice to show that such a third party has the intent necessary to be convicted of aiding and abetting." (But they thought enough about it to write that disclaimer. Hmmm.)


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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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