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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
State v. Samuel Maduro
Citation:174 Vt. 302, 816 A.2d 432.
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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:
The state alleged that the defendant provided crack cocaine, cash, and scales to a female juvenile, K.M., in order to sell. He was charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine.
At trial, the court allowed Keith Merrow to testify, who stated that that defendant also provided him with powder and crack cocaine at their common workplace to sell. Merrow found customers, found out how much of the drug they wanted, and then procured it from defendant. He would then receive a percentage of the sale. He also testified that he remembered seeing a young girl at defendant’s apartment on some of the occasions when he would visit to pick up drugs. He also testified, however, that the young girl did not participate in any of his transactions, did not provide him with drugs or money, and was never a witness to the transfers from defendant.
At the close of trial, the court instructed the jury that it could consider Merrow’s testimony as direct evidence of the conspiracy charge involving K.M. It also added, however, that, if the jury determined that Merrow’s testimony was related to a separate uncharged conspiracy, it could still consider the evidence as proof of the opportunity, intent, preparation for, and plan to commit the crimes of which the defendant is charged. He was found guilty.
The defendant appealed, arguing that the testimony was not direct evidence of the charged conspiracy, but was instead evidence of a separate uncharged conspiracy. In other words, he argued that the trial court erroneously determined that the Merrow testimony was relevant with respect to the charged conspiracy.
- 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.