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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
State v. St. Clair
Citation:262 S.W.2d 25.
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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 defendant was convicted of robbery. The victim of the robbery was William Rieken, who lived and operated a truck garden and sold the produce from a roadside stand in front of his home. On the night of August 19, 1950, someone knocked at his rear bedroom door. He did not answer. The door was pushed open, a man entered and stated, “We want your money.” The man held a pistol in one hand and a flashlight in the other. The flashlight enabled Rieken to see the intruder. Rieken went into another room, took $325 from his overalls and brought it to the intruder, who threatened to shoot him. When the intruder left the house, Rieken looked through a window, and saw a truck driven away with men in it. He promptly reported the matter to the police and, at the trial, identified defendant as the man who entered his home and robbed him.
Defendant, upon being questioned by the officers, readily admitted participation in the robbery, but also asserted that Young and McNeal had forced him to do so. He testified that in July, before the robbery in August, Young and McNeal shot at him and threatened him, and they told him that if he reported them, they would kill both him and his wife before the officers could get them. Defendant further testified that on the night of the robbery, Young and McNeal asked him to drive his truck to rob Rieken and that if he didn’t do what they said to do, they were going to blow his head out and shoot his wife and boy.
The defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court should have granted his request for a jury instruction on the issue of duress.
- 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.