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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Brewer v. Williams
Citation:430 U.S. 387 (1977)
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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:
On December 24, 1968, a 10-year-old girl named Pamela Powers went with her family to the YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa, to watch a wrestling tournament. When she failed to return from a trip to the washroom, a search for her began. The search was unsuccessful. Robert Williams, who had recently escaped from a mental hospital, was a resident of the YMCA. Soon after the girl’s disappearance Williams was seen in the YMCA lobby carrying some clothing and a large bundle wrapped in a blanket. Two detectives met with Williams and Kelly, who, they understood, was acting as Williams’ lawyer. The detectives repeated the Miranda warnings and drove to the place where they suspected that Pamela’s body was buried. At no time during the trip did Williams express a willingness to be interrogated in the absence of an attorney. Instead, he stated several times that “when I get to Des Moines and see Mr. McKnight, I am going to tell you the whole story.” When the detectives could not find the trace of Pamela, Williams directed the officers to places where he had left his shoes and disposed of the blanket. Nothing was found. He then directed the police to the body of Pamela Powers.
- 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.