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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Fisher v. United States
Citation:328 U.S. 463, 66 S.Ct. 1318, 90 L.Ed. 1382.
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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 March 1, 1944, Ms. Reardon, a librarian, and the defendant, a janitor, were alone in the library. Ms. Reardon called the defendant a racial slur and complained about his work performance. The defendant struck her with a stick and when it broke, he choked her to silence. He then dragged her to a restroom and left the body to clean up some spots of blood on the floor outside. While the defendant was doing this cleaning up, the victim “started hollering again.” The defendant then took out his knife and stuck her in the throat. After that he dragged her body down into an adjoining pump pit, where it was found the next morning.
The trial court refused to instruct the jurors that they should consider the evidence of the defendant’s psychopathic aggressive tendencies, low emotional response, and borderline mental deficiency to determine whether he was guilty of first degree murder or a lesser charge. The aggregate of these factors admittedly was not enough to support a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity, however, the defendant argued that they showed that the elements of premeditation and deliberation were not met.
The defendant was convicted of first degree murder after a trial. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed.
- 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.