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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
People v. Adrian Thomas
Citation:8 N.E.3d 308 (N.Y. 2014)
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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.
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- 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:
After his four-month-old son, Matthew, died due to suspected blunt force trauma, police took Thomas (defendant) to the police station for interrogation. The officers stated that Matthew was murdered but assured Thomas that he would not be arrested and would be able to go home. When Thomas denied hurting Matthew, the officers falsely told him that his wife blamed him for their son’s death and that if he did not take responsibility, they would take his wife into custody as well. Thomas agreed to “take the fall” for his wife, although he continued to insist that he did not harm Matthew.
Before the interrogation recommenced, Matthew was pronounced brain dead. Still, the officers told Thomas that Matthew was alive and that he could help save his son if he told the police how he caused the injuries. After four hours, Thomas said that he accidentally dropped his son into his crib and bumped his head and that may have caused the injury. The officers accused Thomas of lying, stating that Matthew’s injuries could only have resulted from a greater application of force. One officer suggested that Thomas may have thrown his son onto his mattress out of frustration with his wife, and he instructed Thomas to demonstrate with a clipboard how he threw his son, which was captured on the interrogation video. Thomas then expanded on his statement, admitting that he threw his son in precisely the way the officer had specified.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- 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.