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Criminal Law Keyed to Lee
Commonwealth v. Malone
Citation:354 Pa. 180, 47 A.2d 445 (1946)
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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.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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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:
Defendant, a 17 year old, was friends with William Long, a 13 year old. On the evening of February 26th, 1946, Malone obtained a revolver from his uncle’s home. Long obtained a cartridge from his father’s room, and the two boys put it inside of the revolver.
Malone suggested that they play “Russian Poker.” This is a game in which the participants place a single cartridge in one of the five chambers of a revolver, hold the gun to their temple, and pull the trigger. Long replied, “I don’t care; go ahead.” Malone placed the revolver against the right side of Long and pulled the trigger three times. The third pull fired a bullet into Long.
Malone said, “did I hit you, Billy? Gee, Kid, I’m sorry.” Long later died from his wound.
At trial, Malone testified that the gun chamber he loaded was the first one to the right and he did not expect the gun to go off. He testified that he had no intention of harming Long. He was found guilty of murder in the second degree.
Malone appealed, arguing that that the facts did not justify a conviction for any form of homicide except involuntary manslaughter.
- 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.