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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
State v. Oxborrow
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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:
Kenneth Oxborrow (Defendant) co-founded the Wheatland Investment Company. Defendant told investors that he would place their money into the stock market and promised a large return on their investments. Defendant began to pay off previous investors with money acquired from newer investors, establishing a sophisticated pyramid scheme. Defendant stole millions of dollars for his own use to purchase expensive cars and homes. As a result, over five00 investors lost all of their investments. In August 1984, Defendant was served with a cease-and-desist order, prohibiting him from selling unregistered securities, which he ignored. Realizing he would not be able to pay back the investors, Defendant’s attorney approached the prosecutor’s office to discuss the scheme and a plea. Later, Defendant pled guilty to first-degree theft and willful violation of a cease-and-desist order. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1981 (SRA) created presumptive sentencing ranges for felonies. Under the SRA, the presumptive sentence ranges for Defendant’s crimes were 0-90 days and 0-12 months, respectively, because he had no previous criminal history. The statutory maximum sentences were ten years for each. The statute empowers the sentencing court to impose any sentence within the presumptive range that it considers appropriate and any sentence outside the range, also called an exceptional sentence, if it finds “compelling and substantial reasons” justifying such a sentence. The SRA provides a list of aggravating factors that may be considered by the court, including that the offense was a major economic offense involving: (1) multiple victims; (2) extraordinary monetary loss; (3) sophistication and planning; and (4) the defendant's use of a position of trust to manipulate victims. The prosecutor recommended that Defendant serve concurrent sentences of ten and five years. Instead, Defendant was sentenced to consecutive ten and five-year terms, totaling fifteen years. Defendant appealed his sentences, arguing that they were clearly excessive and that the court did not have authority under the SRA to impose consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences.
- 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.