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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Fulcher v. State
Citation:633 P.2d 142.
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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 November 17, 1979, the defendant drank seven or eight shots of whiskey over a period of four hours. The defendant claims he got in a fight in the bar restroom, then left the bar to find a friend. According to his testimony, the last thing he remembers until awakening in jail, is going out of the door at the bar.
The defendant and his friend were found lying in the alley behind the bar by a police officer who noted abrasions on their fists and faces. The defendant and his friend swore, were uncooperative, and combative. They were taken to jail and the defendant was placed in a cell with Martin Hernandez, who was lying unconscious on the floor of the cell. The defendant kicked and stomped on Hernandez’s head. Hernandez was bleeding profusely and was taken to the hospital for 52 stitches in his head and mouth. He had lost two or three teeth as a result of the kicking.
The defendant was charged with aggravated assault. He originally pled not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency, however, upon finding out that he would have to be committed to a mental institute, he withdrew the plea.
At the trial, Dr. LeBegue testified that in his expert medical opinion the defendant suffered brain injury and was in a state of traumatic automatism at the time of his attack on Hernandez. Dr. LeBegue defined traumatic automatism as the state of mind in which a person does not have conscious and willful control over his actions, and lacks the ability to be aware of and to perceive his external environment. Dr. LeBegue further testified that another possible symptom is an inability to remember what occurred while in a state of traumatic automatism. Dr. LeBegue was unable to state positively whether or not the defendant had the requisite mental state for aggravated assault, but thought that he did not because of his altered state of mind. He could not state, however, that the character of an act is devoid of criminal intent because of mind alteration.
The defendant was found guilty.
- 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.