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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
Kentel Weaver v. Massachusetts
Citation:137 S.Ct. 1899 (2017)
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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:
Weaver (defendant) was indicted for first-degree murder and unlicensed possession of a handgun. During jury selection, the pool of potential jurors exceeded the number of seats available in the courtroom. As a result, an officer of the court excluded from the courtroom any members of the public who were not potential jurors. Weaver’s mother and her minister were turned away, and she informed defense counsel about the closure. Counsel believed courtroom closure for jury selection was constitutional, so he did not discuss the matter with Weaver, inform him of his right to a public trial, or object to the closure. Five years later, Weaver filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that his attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to object to the courtroom closure. Weaver did not object at trial nor did he raise the issue on direct appeal.
- 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.