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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Myers v. Commonwealth
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- 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.
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- 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:
A Massachusetts statute outlines preliminary-hearing procedures. The statute provides that a court must examine the state prosecution’s witnesses in the defendant’s presence and that the defendant may present evidence and cross-examine state witnesses with help from counsel. A judge held a preliminary hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to support the prosecution of Kenneth Myers (Defendant) on charges of rape and assault. At the preliminary hearing, the complaining witness testified on the state’s behalf but merely repeated the rape accusations against Defendant. At the end of the direct examination, Defendant’s counsel commenced a cross-examination. However, before the cross-examination was finished, the judge stated that there was already enough evidence to find probable cause. Defendant’s counsel objected, wanting to complete the cross-examination and introduce further evidence on Defendant’s behalf, including a medical report and psychiatric evaluation of the complaining witness. The judge repeated the finding of probable cause and ended the hearing. Defendant petitioned to have the finding of probable cause vacated on the grounds that Defendant’s statutory rights to confront his accuser and present evidence had been violated. The state argued that Defendant did not have an absolute right to cross-examine state witnesses and present testimony, as the judge presiding over the preliminary hearing had the discretion to find probable cause even after listening only to the state prosecution’s witnesses.
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- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
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