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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Carter
Citation:750 F. 3d 462 (4th Cir. 2014)
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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:
Officers were responding to a complaint of suspected drug activity in a two-unit apartment building. The officer went to the first unit and found evidence of marijuana use. They then went to the second unit, the defendant’s. They knocked and the defendant allowed the officers to enter his apartment. After smelling marijuana, the officers questioned the defendant who admitted to using the drug for 15 years. A search of the apartment found 12 grams of loose marijuana, 15 grams of partially smoked blunts, digital scale, $1,000 in large bills, and $122 in smaller bills. The defendant also informed the officers of two firearms he had in his closet that he purchased the week before fore self-defense due to the neighborhood he lived in. The week before the other unit in the building was burglarized and his neighbor was shot 8 times. Defendant plead guilty to his 18 USC 992(g)(3) charge but preserved his right to challenge the constitutionality of the statute.
When remanded back to the district court to determine the constitutionality of the statute, the court conducted intermediate scrutiny to determine whether there was a reasonable fit between the statute and a substantial government objective. They determined that there was citing, that 1) drug users are more likely to encounter law enforcement, 2) criminal associations increase risks of violence, 3) high price of drugs leads users to violent crimes, and 4) drug use impairs judgement. Defendant appealed this determination back to the circuit court of appeals.
- 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.