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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
McMillian v. Pennsylvania
Citation:477 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 2411, 91 L.Ed.2d 67.
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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 defendants were convicted of, among other things, one of Pennsylvania’s Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Act‘s enumerated felonies. The Act provides that anyone convicted of certain enumerated felonies is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment if the sentencing judge finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person “visibly possessed a firearm” during the commission of the offense. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that the Act was constitutional and the defendants were sentenced under the Act.
The defendants appealed, arguing that the Act violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the jury trial guarantee of the Sixth Amendment since firearm possession was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
- 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.