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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Jacobson v. United States
Citation:503 U.S. 540, 112 S.Ct. 1535, 118 L.Ed.2d 174.
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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:
The defendant, a 56 year old veteran-turned-farmer, ordered two magazines and a brochure from a California adult bookstore in February of 1984. The magazines contained photographs of nude preteen and teenage boys. The defendant testified that he was surprised there were pictures of young boys without clothes on, but that he was not offended because he thought many of the pictures were out in a rural or outdoor setting and he did not draw any sexual connotation with the images. His receipt of the magazines, at that time, were legal under both federal and Nebraska law. Within three months, however, the law with respect to child pornography changed and receiving sexually explicit depictions of children through the mail became illegal.
For the next 2.5 years, two Government agencies, through five fictitious organizations and a bogus pen pal, explored the defendant’s willingness to break the new law by ordering sexually explicit photographs of children through the mail. The government sent the defendant several brochures, mailings, materials, and questionnaires from the fake organizations. Eventually, the defendant placed an order for a pornographic magazine showing boys having sex and he was arrested upon it’s delivery. After his arrest, his home was searched. The Government found no materials other than what they had sent to him to indicate that he was actively interested in child pornography. When asked why he placed the order at trial, he testified that he “wanted to see what the material was” and that he “didn’t know for sure what kind of sexual action they were referring to.”
He was convicted of violating the new law. He appealed, arguing that it was an entrapment, and the Court of Appeals 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.