Busic v. United States

PETITIONER: Busic
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 78-6020
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

CITATION: 446 US 398 (1980)
ARGUED: Feb 27, 1980
DECIDED: May 19, 1980

ADVOCATES:
Gerald Goldman - for Michael M
Mark Irving Levy - for United States
Samuel J. Reich - for LaRocca

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Busic v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 27, 1980 (Part 1) in Busic v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 27, 1980 (Part 2) in Busic v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

Mr. Reich, you -- you may proceed whenever you're ready.

Samuel J. Reich:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

I represent Michael Busic under the evidence.

While the assaults were taking place, Mr. Busic carried a gun in his belt.

This weapon was never drawn, never pointed or fired.

By his conduct, he didn't endanger any lives.

The evidence shows that while most of these incidents were taking place, Mr. Busic had stopped in a drugstore to buy a pack of cigarettes.

When he came out and he was confronted by the authorities, he surrendered without resistance.

As to the assault charges of and these actual assaults were --

Warren E. Burger:

I take if that was in face of greater finer power?

Samuel J. Reich:

That was disputed, Your Honor.

He certainly surrendered himself and the evidence is clear that he never rendered any active assistance during the assaults.

Potter Stewart:

And he some sort of statement to that effect --

Samuel J. Reich:

Yes.

He said, “Remember, I never drew my weapon or never fired my weapon.”

He didn't -- he wasn't familiar with the Pinkerton doctrine, but that's what he said.

John Paul Stevens:

Mr. Reich, you don't contest the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the aided and abetted in the -- in the other offense, do you?

Samuel J. Reich:

We did in the lower court, yes, Your Honor.

John Paul Stevens:

But that's not before --

Samuel J. Reich:

That is not before you when --

John Paul Stevens:

So we must assume that he did aide and abetter.

Samuel J. Reich:

Yes, yes.

As to the assault charges that Busic was indicted for aiding and abetting LaRocca's use of the firearm which LaRocca was using during the assaults.

As to the count under 924 (c), Busic was charged with carrying the weapon he had in his gun belt although he could have been charge under the indictment with using LaRocca's firearm under Part I of Section 924 (c).

William H. Rehnquist:

He was also – could have – could and probably was on the evidence convicted of carrying a firearm unlawfully, wasn't he?

Samuel J. Reich:

I --

William H. Rehnquist:

Didn't he -- didn't he -- didn't he have a felony record or --

Samuel J. Reich:

Yes.

He did have a felony record and he was convicted.

He was indicted with every charge conceivable for possession of every weapon in sight.