Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, January 04, 2008

Palma: Facts Did not Support "Innocent Transitory Possession" Defense

In U.S. v. Palma, No. 06-14884 (Jan. 4, 2008), the Court rejected the defendant’s claim that, at his trial for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, the district court should have instructed the jury that a "transitory or temporary innocent possession" would be a defense to the charge. Without addressing whether this defense was valid generally, the Court noted that in Palma’s case the evidence that he entered a gun shop (with his then-girlfriend) twice, picked up the firearm, referred to it as "my gun," and requested, purchased and carried away ammunition for the firearm, did not support an "innocent transitory possession" instruction.