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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Hix v. Commonwealth
Citation:270 Va. 335, 619 S.E.2d 80.
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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 defendant, using the screen name “happyone345,” egaged in several electronic communications in an Internet “chat room” with a person using the screen name “heather_boon” (“Heather”). Heather claimed to be a thirteen-year-old girl but was, in fact, State Police Special Agent C.D. Wells. After learning her age, the defendant asked Heather about her prior sexual experiences and asked her to describe her body, with particular reference to her sexual characteristics. The defendant also described particular sexual acts that he wanted to engage in with her, invited her to “hook up,” and admitted that he “[could] get 30 years in prison.”
He suggested that they meet at a local McDonald’s, but because the agent did not yet have enough information non the defendant’s location, Heather said that it wasn’t a good day. A few months later, when the agent determined where the defendant was located, Heather contacted the defendant and reminded him that he had previously wanted to meet at McDonald’s. He responded that they could just “ride around.” Heather reminded him that she was 13, but the defendant told Heather he would be at the McDonald’s.
The defendant was arrested. He admitted to the police officers that he had participated in the conversations with heather_boon/Agent Wells, and further admitted that he believed that the girl he was going to meet at the McDonald’s was, in fact, thirteen years old. At trial, however, the defendant testified that he was just curious, that he thought that Heather was not really 13 years old, but was an adult “role-playing” and alternately that he was afraid she was in some kind of trouble and needed his help.
He was convicted of attempted indecent liberties with a minor. He appealed, arguing that the crime was a “legal impossibility” as there was no actual 13-year-old girl with whom the taking of indecent liberties could have been accomplished.
- 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.