United States v. Waller, No. 10-1321 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm (18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1)), possessing heroin with the intent to distribute, (21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C)), and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(i)). The Third Circuit vacated and remanded. A jury instruction that "You may also consider any statements made or omitted by the defendant," improperly invited the jury to infer intent from defendant's post-arrest, post–Miranda warnings silence, in violation of his right to due process. Because the government's evidence of intent to distribute was circumstantial, the error was not harmless.