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Burks v. United States

United States Supreme Court
437 U.S. 1 (1978)


Facts

Burks (defendant) was tried for bank robbery in federal court. Burks raised an insanity defense, but the court refused to grant a judgment of acquittal before sending the question to the jury. The jury convicted Burks, and Burks moved the court to grant a new trial on the ground that the evidence against him was inadequate. The trial court denied the motion, and Burks appealed. The court of appeals held that Burks had made a prima facie showing of insanity and that the government did not present sufficient evidence to rebut that showing beyond a reasonable doubt. The appellate court reversed and remanded the case to the district court to decide whether to direct a verdict of acquittal or order a retrial. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether Burks’ retrial is constitutional.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

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Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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