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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Roston
Citation:956 F. 2d 1287 (9th Cir. 1993)
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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:
Defendant was on a honeymoon cruise with his wife, Karen. Passengers had notice tension between the two during the cruise, and the defendant admitted that they had been fighting about the amount of sweets she was eating and her not knowing how to use the complex silverware on the ship. This resulted in a fight the two had.
Karen was thrown overboard of the ship. The railing was 3’6″ and she was 5’3″ making it unlikely that she simply fell. Additionally, forensic evidence has proved that she was unconscious when she hit the water and died of drowning. Her neck and eyes showed signs of hemorrhage and her neck bones were warping, suggesting manual strangulation. Material from the jogging track on deck were found in her clothing and parts of her earring and hair were found on the track several feet from where she was thrown overboard. Defendant’s face was also severed scratched.
Defendant argued that two Israeli nationals on board killed her and threw her overboard. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. On appeal, the defendant argues 1) that no rational juror could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed his wife with malice and 2) prosecution was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not committed in the heat of passion.
- 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.