People v. Jennings
Supreme Court of Colorado
641 P.2d 276 (1982)
John Jennings (defendant) was convicted by a jury for child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury to Jennings’s four-month-old daughter, Christina, under a state statute that prohibited the cruel punishment of a child. At trial, the evidence showed that Jennings was tending to a fussy and crying Christina at home and attempting to put Christina down for a nap when he became frustrated and slapped her on the head with an open hand. As a result, Christina stopped breathing, lost oxygen to her brain, and suffered severe brain damage and blindness. Jennings admitted that, although he did not intend to harm Christina, the slap caused serious bodily injury. However, Jennings argued that the slap did not constitute felony child abuse under the statute prohibiting cruel punishment, which required that a defendant knowingly, intentionally, or negligently, and without justifiable excuse, cause or permit a child to be cruelly punished. Jennings was found guilty by the jury. Jennings subsequently filed a motion for a new trial and renewed his pretrial motion to dismiss the indictment. The trial court granted Jennings’s motion to dismiss, concluding that the cruel-punishment language used in the criminal statute prohibiting child abuse was unconstitutionally vague.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Dubofsky, 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.