Formatting the brief: each brief must be typed, 12 point font, double-spaced with standard margins (1.5” on left, 1” at the top, bottom and right) and include pagination, three (3) to five (5) pages in length, in addition to a reference list. Case briefs must be written in APA format (see supplemental reference list contained in the syllabus for assistance). Do not include a title page or abstract.
Printz v. U.S. (1997) Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Chimel v. California (1969)
Terry v. Ohio (1968) Katz v. U.S. (1967) Furman v. Georgia (1972)
Kyllo v. U.S. (2001) Steagald v. U.S. (1981) Payton v. New York (1979)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) Graham v. Connor (1989) Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Tennessee v. Garner (1985)
Use Headers:
Introduction to the case: what is it about? Why is it important? Make sure you introduce the case including the case number.
Facts of the case: be specific about what happened in the case; describe the procedural history of the case—what happened at the trial level, at the appellate level?
Issue: what is the issue before the Court? Be specific. This should be a statement that clearly identifies what issue the Court is addressing in the case.
Holding: what did the Court decide? Do not put only “affirmed” or “reversed” as the holding. Describe exactly what the Court decided. The Court may write “we hold that…” or “we find…” The holding is normally written at the end of the case.
Rationale: list the vote count among the justices. Who dissented with the majority and the reason they disagreed. What was the Court’s rationale for their decision? Describe all differing opinions among the justices. Did the decision overturn a previous Court decision on this issue? If so, what was the case (cite the number) and the rationale for overturning this case.
Significance: how did this case change the work of law enforcement officers, or the criminal justice system? Why is it important that we study the specifics of the case. Describe cases that built on your case’s decision. Be sure to include the case number and what the case was about.
References: list all sources used to research the case.
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