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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
People v. McNeese
Citation:892 P.2d 304.
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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:
Vivian Daniels was not getting along with her husband, John Daniels, and contacted the defendant to ask if she could stay at his apartment. Vivian moved into the defendant’s apartment after agreeing to pay rent and on the condition that John Daniels was not to enter or come into the apartment under any circumstances. The defendant is black, and the testimony established that John Daniels had a reputation for not liking black people and was prone to violence, especially after he had been drinking. Vivian told the defendant that John had killed another man. John knew that the defendant did not want him in the apartment. John never entered the apartment and would wave from across the street or knock on the window when he wanted to see his wife.
On November 15, 1991, approximately three months after moving into the apartment, Vivian and the defendant spent the day drinking at various bars. When they returned to the apartment, the defendant made sexual advances and Vivian decided to move out. She left the defendant’s apartment at 11:30 p.m. on a cold, snowy night without a coat or any of her belongings. She went to John’s apartment, which was about six blocks away.
Keith Tollefson, who shared the apartment with John, let her in, and she slept on a couch until John returned. John and a friend had both been drinking heavily at a number of bars and, when they returned to the apartment, they were told of the sexual advances made by the defendant. They decided to get Vivian Daniels’ clothes and possessions from the defendant’s apartment. A witness testified he overheard John say to his friend, “let’s go kill that fuckin’ n*****.” At approximately 2:30 a.m., John Daniels, Vivian Daniels, and Wessels entered the defendant’s apartment using Vivian Daniels’ key.
The defendant was in his bedroom asleep. When John went to get his wife’s clothes out of the closet located immediately outside of the bedroom, he opened the defendant’s door and talked to the defendant from the doorway. After Vivian asked her husband to help her collect her belongings, he returned to the living room and the defendant followed. Vivian went to the defendant’s bedroom to get her pillow, and, when she returned to the living room, John was on the couch with his arm around the defendant’s throat applying a chokehold and threatening to kill the defendant if he harmed Vivian.
The altercation ended after approximately two or three minutes. Vivian continued to gather her possessions when she saw John and his friend dead on the floor. The defendant stabbed them. The defendant then confronted Vivian and stabbed her in the head. She ran from the apartment and called the police.
The defendant was charged with murder. The trial court granted his motion to dismiss, holding that he was immune from prosecution because he met the requirements of the “make-my-day” statute, which permitted deadly force in the case of an unlawful home entry.
- 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.