Friday, November 15, 2013

Carter v. United States case brief

Carter v. United States case brief summary
530 U.S. 255 (2000)

Upon grant of certiorari, petitioner challenged of the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit which held that petitioner, who was charged and convicted of bank robbery under 18 U.S.C.S. § 2113(a), was not entitled to a jury instruction on a lesser offense under 18 U.S.C.S. § 2113(b) since it was not a lesser included offense of § 2113(a).

Petitioner was convicted of bank robbery under 18 U.S.C.S. § 2113(a) and, alleging that he had not taken the bank's money by force and violence, or by intimidation, as § 2113(a)required, petitioner asserted that he was wrongfully denied a jury instruction on the lesser included offense under 18 U.S.C.S § 2113(b) which did not contain such element.

  • The court first held that, even though the sections were analogous to the common law crimes of larceny and robbery, the specific definition of the crimes in the statute without the use of common law terms precluded the imputation of common law meaning to the sections. 
  • Further,§ 2113(b) was not a lesser included offense of § 2113(a) since a textual comparison of the sections showed that the elements of § 2113(b) were not a subset of the elements of § 2113(a). 
  • Section 2113(b) required a specific intent to steal, asportation of the stolen property, and a difference in consequences depending on the value of the stolen property, whereas § 2113(a) contained only an imputed general intent, did not require that the property be taken away, and did not involve any specific value for the stolen property.

Judgment was affirmed; the common law distinction between larceny and robbery did not apply to the statutorily defined crimes, and the differences in the elements of the bank robbery crimes, where the crime with lesser punishment alone involved specific intent, asportation, and valuation of the stolen property, precluded a finding that the lesser crime was a lesser included offense of the greater crime.

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