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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
Commonwealth v. Clarke
Citation:960 N.E.2d 306 (Mass. 2012)
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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:
Clarke (defendant) was arrested for indecent assault and battery. He was placed in an interrogation room and provided with a waiver form describing his Miranda rights. Clarke began to sign the form, but one of the detectives stopped him so he could verbally review the rights with Clarke. After going over the rights, the detective asked Clarke whether he wanted to discuss the charges. Clarke shook his head back and forth in a negative fashion, which the detective interpreted as meaning Clarke did not want to speak. However, another detective told Clarke that he would not be free to go home, that he would still be charged and detained. Clarke expressed his confusion and after some time, he agreed to sign the waiver form and admitted to repeatedly touching a man on the subway.
- 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.