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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
People v. Thompson
Citation:142 Cal.App.4th 1426, 48 Cal.Rptr.3d 803.
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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:
A group home for the developmentally disabled hired the defendant to to help care for its residents, including the victim, a woman with down syndrome. She testified that at 2:00 a.m., defendant came into her bedroom while she was asleep. He took off his clothes, then got on top of her. She was wearing a nightgown but no underwear. She testified: “I felt his fingers to open my vagina and put his penis inside of me.” Then he put his penis in her mouth. She did not move or say anything because she was “sound asleep.”
At 3:00 a.m., defendant left. At 3:15 a.m., however, he came back and said, “Don’t tell nobody about this.” The victim’s vagina hurt; she was “in a lot of pain.” She cried “[f]or a long time.” The next morning, she phoned her mother and told her that defendant had “raped” and “molested” her. She sounded very upset. Her mother took her to a hospital. Doctors found a small tear in her posterior fourchette and signs of a forced entry.
At trial, her mother described her as “naïve” and “very trusting.” The victim talked at a level of a nine or ten year old child. When asked what happened, the victim answered, “I been raped.” She defined that as “[w]hen a man wants to have sex” but she “wasn’t ready to have sex” with him. When asked what sex is, she kept calling it “special love.” She also answered that sex is when you “fall in love, get married, have sex, get somebody pregnant and have a baby.” She added that, a couple of weeks after the honeymoon, the couple can “faint” or “pass out” and get pregnant.
The defendant was convicted of rape on the theory that the victim was “at the time incapable, because of a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent.” He appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that the victim was incapable of giving consent.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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