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Criminal Law keyed to Dripps
People v. Aiken
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Aiken (Defendant) and his neighbor had lived in the same Bronx apartment building for nearly forty years. Until 1995, the two had been friendly and close. After one heated verbal exchange between Defendant and the neighbor in 1997, the neighbor stabbed Defendant in the back, hospitalizing him for two days. Thereafter, the neighbor repeatedly threatened to shoot, stab, or otherwise injure Defendant. After arguing through a shared bedroom wall one evening, Defendant took a metal pipe and knocked an indentation into his side of the wall. The neighbor then left his apartment to open the apartment building’s front door for police. When the neighbor came back down the shared, common hallway, he encountered Defendant who stood in his apartment doorway, still holding the metal pipe. The neighbor went up closely to Defendant and said he was going to kill him. Believing he was about to be stabbed again, Defendant struck the neighbor on the head and killed him. Defendant was charged with murder. At trial, defense counsel requested that the court instruct the jury that a defendant has no duty to retreat into his home if he is in close proximity to the threshold of the home. The court denied the request and the jury convicted Defendant on a lesser charge first-degree manslaughter. The appellate division affirmed the conviction. The New York Court of Appeals granted certiorari to review.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.