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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Caruso
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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:
Francesco Caruso (Defendant) was an Italian immigrant living in an apartment with his wife and children. According to Defendant’s testimony, on February 11, his six-year-old son became sick with a sore throat, which Defendant treated with drug-store medicine. His son’s condition worsened, and at 10 o’clock in the evening on February 12, Defendant called Dr. Pendola, who was recommended to him. Dr. Pendola arrived shortly afterward and diagnosed the child with diphtheria. The doctor sent Defendant out to buy some antitoxin, which the doctor administered. Dr. Pendola also gave Defendant another prescription, with instructions, and promised to return the next morning. Defendant watched his son all night, administering the medication. Throughout the night, the child’s sickness continued worsening. Defendant could not reach Dr. Pendola, and Defendant’s son died. Dr. Pendola arrived the next afternoon, at which time he was told the child died. Defendant testified that upon hearing the news, the doctor laughed. Defendant believed this, though it is likely the doctor’s facial muscles twitched in such a way that may have been mistaken for a smile. The doctor’s reaction, coupled with Defendant’s apparent belief that the dose of antitoxin given to his son was too large and the doctor’s denial of the accusations, caused Defendant to attack the doctor in anger, choking him until he fell. Defendant then went to the closet about 10 feet away and retrieved a knife, which he used to stab the doctor twice in the throat, killing him. Defendant was arrested later that night. Defendant did not deny that he killed the doctor. The jury was given instructions on homicide, deliberation, and premeditation, which were the requirements for a conviction of first-degree murder. Defendant was convicted, and he appealed.
- 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.