From our private database of 30,900+ case briefs...
Johns v. Smyth
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
176 F.Supp. 949 (1959)
Raleigh Johns (defendant) was convicted of the first-degree murder of Melvin Childress. Johns gave a signed statement the day after Childress was killed, admitting that Johns killed Childress with a knife. The statement also said that Childress had grabbed Johns and suggested an unnatural sexual act just before Johns killed Childress. During the trial, the prosecution (plaintiff) introduced the signed statement, and Johns did not testify. Johns’s counsel did not submit any proposed jury instructions or submit a closing argument to the jury. The jury was instructed on first- and second-degree murder but not on manslaughter. The jury convicted Johns of first-degree murder, and Johns filed a petition for habeas corpus, alleging a violation of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. During the hearing on the petition, Johns’s counsel stated that he believed Johns was guilty. According to the trial counsel, Johns had admitted that the signed statement was false. Based on the admission from Johns to his attorney, the attorney did not believe he could argue that the statement was true.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hoffman, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 554,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 554,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 30,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.