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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Powell v. Texas
Citation:392 U.S. 514, 88 S.Ct. 2145, 20 L.Ed.2d 1254.
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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:
In late December 1966, the defendant was arrested and charged with being found in a state of intoxication in a public place, in violation of Texas Penal Code, Art. 477 (1952). At trial, his counsel urged that the defendant was “afflicted with the disease of chronic alcoholism,” that “his appearance in public [while drunk was] . . . not of his own volition,” and therefore that to punish him criminally for that conduct would be cruel and unusual, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.
At trial, the principal testimony was from Dr. David Wade, who testified that the defendant is a chronic alcoholic and unable to control his behavior. He testified that the defendant is an “involuntary drinker,” who is “powerless not to drink,” and who “loses his self-control over his drinking.” On cross examination, he admitted that individuals like the defendant have a compulsion that is not completely overpowering but is an exceedingly strong influence.
The defendant was convicted. He appealed.
- 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.