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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Atkins v. Virginia
Citation:536 U.S. 304, 122 S.Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed.2d 335.
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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.
- 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:
The petitioner was convicted of several crimes arising from a night in which he, along with someone else, abducted, robbed, and killed a man. At his sentencing hearing, a forensic psychologist who had evaluated the petitioner before trial testified that he was “mildly mentally retarded.” This conclusion was based on interviews with people who knew the petitioner, a review of school and court records, and the administration of a standard intelligence test which indicated that the petitioner had a full scale IQ of 59. The jury sentenced him to death.
The Virginia Supreme Court ordered a second sentencing hearing, and the death sentence was affirmed. He appealed, arguing that his death sentence is a cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, due to his intellectually disability.
- 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.