From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
People v. Du
Superior Court, Los Angeles County
No. BA037738 (1991)
Soon Ja Du, her husband, and son operated a liquor store in Los Angeles. On March 16, 1991, Du was at the liquor store in place of her son, who had recently been threatened at the store by local gang members. One customer, a 15-year-old girl named Latasha Harlins, selected a bottle of orange juice in the back of the store. She placed the bottle in her backpack and approached the counter, from where Du had been observing Harlins. Believing that Harlins meant to pay for a cheaper item and steal the orange juice, Du accused Harlins of shoplifting. A fight ensued, during which Harlins hit Du twice in the eye. Du attempted to throw a stool at Harlins but missed. After throwing the stool, Harlins placed the orange juice on the counter and walked towards the door. Meanwhile, Du grabbed a gun behind the counter and shot Harlins in the back of the head, killing her. Du was subsequently tried for voluntary manslaughter. At trial, Du’s husband testified that he had acquired the gun for self-protection but had never taught Du how to use it. A ballistics expert revealed that, without the Du family’s knowledge, Du’s gun had been modified in a way that made the trigger much more sensitive and easier to set off than usual. Du testified that she did not remember shooting the gun, and that the killing was unintentional and in self-defense. The jury found Du guilty. After trial, but before sentencing, a probation officer noted that Du was unlikely to commit a crime again in the future and that she was not a violent person. At sentencing, the judge imposed a prison term of ten years as punishment, but then reduced the sentence to probation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Karlin, 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 606,000 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 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 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.