Appeal and Appellate Court Decision

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Capstone Case Briefs

U. S. v. Thomas
Citation: United States v. Thomas, 34 F.3d 44 (2nd Cir. 1994) Summary of Facts:
Wallie Howard was a Syracuse police officer who was shot and killed during a cocaine bust. Luther Gregory was Wallie Howard’s confidential informant. Davidson was the head supplier of the cocaine conspiracy. Parke was the chief lieutenant of Wallie Howard also the deliveryman for Davidson. Parke and Morales (Davidson’s deliverymen) frequently delivered cocaine to customers. Lawrence was a cocaine seller in one of the conspiracy drug apartments and was the muscles in the operation. Stewart had dealt cocaine in the past and he owed the group some money and needed to pay off his debt. Case History:

On October 18th and 22nd of the year 1990, a Syracuse police officer was working undercover for the DEA and confidential informant Luther Gregory made purchases of cocaine from Morales. While the transaction was going down, Parke was outside the facility conducting surveillance. On October 30, 1990, Wallie Howard (the Syracuse police officer) was shot and killed during a cocaine “buy-bust.” Morales, Stewart, and Lawrence are tried and found guilty in a court of law. They attempted to appeal the conviction based on the defense of self-defense. They were denied but still able to be acquitted. Legal Issue(s) on appeal:

The legal issue in question (on appeal) is whether the defendants can claim the self-defense defense. The defendants wish to claim this defense because Agent Wallie Howard had opened fire on them during the third cocaine “buy-bust” deal. Appellate Court Decision:

The Appellate Court’s decision was that the defendant(s) were not entitled to use the self-defense defense. Appellate Court’s Decision Rationale:
The reason that Appellate Court made this decision on this case is because the defendant(s) were the first aggressors in the situation. Even though Officer Howard drew and fired his weapon first, the defendants had arrived at the situation with the intention of performing a robbery, thus making it so that they could not claim the self-defense defense.

Madera v. State

Summary of Facts:

Case History:

Legal Issue(s) on appeal:

Appellate Court Decision:

Appellate Court’s Decision Rationale:

Montana v. Engelhoff
Citation: Montana vs. Egelhoff, 116 S. Ct. 2013 (1996)

Summary of Facts:

While camping in Montana in the northwestern region of yak the respondent was staying

There at a camp site picking mushrooms and became friends with Roberta Pavola and John

Christenson was doing the same thing. On the 12th of July, a Sunday, the three were

Seen selling their mushrooms throughout the day and night they were seen drinking at bars and

even a private party in Troy Montana the three left the party in Christenson’s 1974 Ford Galaxy

station wagon. Sometime after 9pm, the respondent was seen buying beer to keep their drinking

Binge up. The respondent was recalled saying he was “sitting on a hill or a bank, passing a

Bottle Of black velvet back and forth” with Christenson.

Lincoln county officers of Montana Sheriffs’ department responded to reports of a

possible drunk driver. At about midnight they discovered Christenson’s station wagon along the

US highway 2 the station wagon was stuck in a ditch. Pavola and Christenson were in the front

Seat each with a single gunshot to the head the respondent was in the back seat yelling

obscenities over an hour later his blood alcohol was at .36 percent the .38 caliber handgun used

Was near the brake pedal with two empty casings and four loaded rounds the respondent had

gunshot residue on his hands.

The crime that the respondent was charged with in the state of Montana is “purposely” or

“knowing” causing the death of another human being. The respondent was charged with two

counts of deliberate homicide. Because of his extreme intoxication on the...
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