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Criminal Procedure keyed to Saltzburg
Gideon v. Wainright
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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:
Gideon was charged in a Florida state court with breaking and entering into a poolroom with the intent to commit a misdemeanor. Such an offense was a felony under Florida law. When Gideon appeared before the state Court he informed the court that he was indigent and requested the Court appoint him an attorney, asserting that “the United States Supreme Court says I am entitled to be represented by counsel.” The se Court informed Gideon that under Florida law only indigent clients charged with capital offenses are entitled to court appointed counsel. Gideon proceeded to a jury trial; made an opening statement, cross-examined the State’s witnesses, called his own witnesses, declined to testify himself; and made a closing argument. The jury returned a guilty verdict and Gideon was sentenced to serve five years in state prison. While serving his sentence, Gideon filed a petition for habeas corpus attacking his conviction and sentence on the ground that the trial court’s refusal to appoint counsel denied his constitutional rights and rights guaranteed him under the Bill of Rights. The Florida State Supreme Court denied relief. Because the problem of a defendant’s constitutional right to counsel in state court continued to be source of controversy since Betts v. Brady, the United States Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) granted certiorari to again review the issue.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- 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.