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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
In Re Joseph G.
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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:
Joseph G. (Defendant) and Jeff W. were sixteen-year-old friends. One evening, they were at the library speaking to other friends, and they stated that they were going to kill themselves by “flying off” a high curve on a nearby road known as “the cliff.” Defendant and Jeff’s friends did not believe them, but both boys repeated their intentions to kill themselves and left together in a car. The boys first fixed a tire, then Defendant drove off toward the cliff, with Jeff in the passenger seat. Defendant and Jeff drove around the curve of the road and over the cliff. Witnesses parked nearby saw the car plunge down the hill and said that it did not slow, swerve, or attempt to change course. Jeff died when the car crashed, and Defendant suffered numerous injuries, including the loss of his foot. After the crash, Defendant told his friends that he drove off the cliff on purpose. In a juvenile court petition to declare him a ward of the court, Defendant was charged with murder and aiding and abetting suicide, pursuant to the state’s penal code § 401, which provides that, “[e]very person who deliberately aids, or advises, or encourages another to commit suicide, is guilty of a felony.” The court upheld the petition in relation to the murder count, but dismissed the aiding and abetting charge, stating that it did not apply. Defendant appealed, arguing that he could only be convicted of aiding and abetting a suicide, not of murder.
- 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.