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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Ohlin
Smith v. Cain
Citation:565 U.S. 73 (2012)
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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 State of Louisiana charged petitioner Juan Smith with killing five people during an armed robbery. At Smith’s trial a single witness, Larry Boatner, linked Smith to the crime. He claimed that he had been face to face with Smith during the initial moments of the robbery. No other witnesses and no physical evidence implicated Smith in the crime. The jury convicted Smith of five counts of first-degree murder. Smith then sought post-conviction relief in the state courts. As part of his effort, Smith obtained files from the police investigation of his case, including those of the lead investigator, Detective John Ronquillo. Ronquillo’s notes contain statements by Boatner that conflict with his testimony identifying Smith as a perpetrator. Smith requested that his conviction be vacated, arguing that the prosecution’s failure to disclose Ronquillo’s notes violated the Constitution.
- 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.