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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Rummel v. Estelle, Corrections Director
Citation:445 U.S. 263, 100 S.Ct. 1133, 63 L.Ed.2d 382.
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- 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 petitioner was convicted of three felonies on separate occasions. The first involved fraudulent use of a credit card to obtain $80 worth of goods or services. The second involved a forged check in the amount of $28.36. The third involved obtaining $120.75 by false pretenses. At the time, Texas had a “recidivist statute,” which provided that that “[whoever] shall have been three times convicted of a felony less than capital shall on such third conviction be imprisoned for life in the penitentiary.” As a result, the trial court imposed a life sentence.
He appealed. The Texas appellate courts rejected his appeal. The petitioner then filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, arguing that his life sentence was so disproportionate to the crimes he had committed as to constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The District Court rejected the petition, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s denial. He is now in the Supreme Court of the United States.
- 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.