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Criminal Law Keyed to Lee
People v. Berry
Citation:18 Cal.3d 509, 556 P.2d 777, 134 Cal.Rptr. 415 (1976)
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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:
Berry, a 46 year old man, married Rachel Pessah, a 20 year old girl from Israel, in California. Rachel lived with Berry for only three days, and then left for Isreal. When she returned to California, she told Berry that she was in love with someone else named Yako.
One evening, on July 22, 1974, Berry and Rachel went to a movie. When they returned home and got into bed, Rachel announced that she intended to have sex with Berry, but that she was saving herself for Yako so she wouldn’t. Berry got out of bed and prepared to leave the apartment, whereupon Rachel screamed at him. Berry choked Rachel into unconsciousness. A few hours later, Berry called a taxi for Rachel to be treated at a hospital.
On July 25, Berry went to the apartment in an attempt to talk with Rachel. However, she was not yet home. Berry stayed the night and when Rachel did return home the next day, she said, “I supposed you have come here to kill me.” Berry responded, “yes,” changed his response to “no,” and then again to “yes,” and finally stated “I have really come to talk to you.” Rachel started screaming and Berry strangled her to death with a telephone cord.
At trial, Dr. Blinder, a physician and psychiatrist, was called by defense. He testified that Rachel was depressed and suicidal. He testified that from July 13 to July 26, Rachel continually provoked Berry and it was because of this cumulative series of provocations that caused Berry to be in a state of uncontrollable rage.
Berry was found guilty and convicted of murder. He appealed, claiming that he was entitled to an instruction on voluntary manslaughter as he had requested.
- 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.