Each week, you will choose and analyze a case that was discussed in your chapter reading. Some of these cases are presented in the text in separate boxes, and you will get the most information from those cases. The goal is to identify the major components of the court decision. This is not the same thing as a brief, but you will be identifying several of the key parts. Remember that there is a case index at the end of the textbook, if you decide to look up the cases online for further clarification of the court\’s analysis.
Each case analysis should be presented as a Word document, with the following components:
1. Case Title, Location: This is the formal case name and the official reporter where the case can be found. I also need the chapter and page number where the case appeared in the text.
Example: Roper v. Simons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005); Chapter 3, pages 54-61.
2. Issue: This is the question, or questions, before the court. In criminal cases, one side has appealed an earlier decision by a lower court and asked this court (the one issuing the opinion) to decide an issue. You should identify no more than 2 issues from each case. Some cases have just one issue. Always present the issue in the form of a question. You should carefully read each case to identify the issue(s)
Example: Did the trial err in admitting testimony from the alleged victim that the defendant had threatened to kill her on a prior occasion, approximately 15 years before the incident in question?
3. Holding: This is the court\’s answer to the question in the issue. First, answer the question with a \”yes\” or \”no\”. Then, provide a few sentences explaining the final decision.
Example: Yes. The trial court erred in admitting the victim\’s testimony of a prior threat by the defendant because her memory was properly impeached during cross examination, rendering her recollection questionable.
4. Reasoning: This is a shortened version of the \”analysis\” in a case brief. In this section, provide at least a paragraph explaining the main reason, or reasons, why the court decided as it did. If there is a major case which the court relied upon, mention that here.
Example: A warrantless search incident to arrest is unconstitutional if it is beyond the arrested suspect\’s person and the area from which he could obtain a weapon or evidence. The general rule allowing warrantless search of the person of an arrestee and of the area \”within his control\” is based upon a policy judgment. The reasons behind this choice was that police officers have an interest in protecting themselves against violence and that the State has an interest in the preservation of evidence for trial. However, searches beyond this limited scope are unconstitutional. Otherwise, it would lead to the absurd conclusion that one\’s papers are safe only so long as one is not at home. The privacy interest in one\’s home is more important than the law enforcement interest in expedient searches for evidence.
5. Disposition: This is the formal conclusion of the case, which should be easy to determine with a close reading of the case.
Example: The court agreed with the appellant. Reversed and Remanded
Example: The court did not accept the appellant\’s argument: Affirmed.
Remember to submit your case analysis each week in a Word, PDF or .rtf document and to clearly label each section in the analysis. Choose from chapter 4 or 5 to do the case analysis make sure your under line
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