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Criminal Procedure keyed to Kamisar
Strickland v. Washington
Citation:466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984)
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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:
Washington committed three groups of crimes involving murder. Washington admitted to the third of the criminal episodes. He was indicted and the court appointed counsel to represent Washington. Against counsel’s advice, Washington also confessed to the first two murders. By the time of trial, Washington was subject to indictment for three counts of first-degree murder and multiple other counts. Again, against counsel’s advice, Washington pleaded guilty to all charges.
To prepare for the sentencing hearing, counsel spoke with Washington, his wife, and his mother. However, he did not seek out character witnesses nor did he request a psychiatric examination. Instead, counsel decided to rely on Washington’s plea colloquy for evidence about Washington’s background and his claim of emotional stress.
The trial judge sentenced Washington to death on the three counts of murder and to prison terms for the other crimes. Washington sought collateral relief in state court, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. Washington submitted 14 affidavits from friends, family, and neighbors stating that they would have provided favorable character evidence if asked. He also submitted a psychiatric report and a psychological report. The state court denied the ineffectiveness claim. Washington then sought federal habeas relief, again raising an ineffective assistance claim.
- 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.