United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
529 F.3d 588 (2008)
Salvador Perez (defendant) lived with his wife and children in Texas. On July 15, 1996, Perez, fearing that drug dealers were pursuing him in order to kill him, left for Florida with his 12-year-old son, Salvatore Jr. Perez believed a black car was following him, and he repeatedly looked out for other cars while driving on back roads. Perez eventually reached New Orleans and stopped at the Fair Grounds. A Fair Grounds security officer called the police. Perez fled but an officer spotted him and pursued him. Perez shot and killed the officer. He was charged with the officer’s murder and initially deemed competent to stand trial. Soon after, however, he was sent to Feliciana Forensic Facility (FFF) for further examination. There, a psychiatrist named Carrington examined him, concluding that Perez’s thoughts were disorganized, that he experienced hallucinations and delusions, and that he was not competent to stand trial. Carrington acknowledged that Perez’s brief confinement prior to arriving at FFF could have factored into Perez’s psychological condition at the time of examination. Later at trial, seven psychiatric experts testified that Perez suffered from serious mental illness. Six of them said the serious mental illness made him incapable of knowing right from wrong when he shot the officer. The seventh expert, Carrington, was not asked about Perez’s mental condition when he shot the officer. Rosa, Perez’s wife, testified that Perez had been acting oddly for the two weeks preceding the incident. The State (plaintiff) cross-examined her and referred to contradictory statements she had made soon after the incident. Rosa had told police and another doctor that Perez had not been exhibiting psychological problems prior to the incident. The State itself did not proffer any evidence rebutting Perez’s evidence of mental illness. The State relied on its cross-examinations to demonstrate Perez and his family were lying about Perez’s mental condition. The jury found Perez guilty of first degree murder. Perez appealed, arguing there was insufficient evidence to show he had not proven his insanity by a preponderance of the evidence. The state appellate court affirmed the conviction. Perez then filed a habeas petition in federal district court. The district court found there was insufficient evidence demonstrating that Perez failed to prove insanity by a preponderance of the evidence.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Reavley, 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 240,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 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.