Pope v. State
Maryland Court of Appeals
396 A.2d 1054 (1979)
Melissa Norris suffered from a serious mental illness and often experienced episodes of violent religious frenzy. Joyce Lillian Pope (defendant) took Norris and her three-month-old child into her house after church because they had no other place to go. Over the course of a weekend, Pope fed them and looked after the child, but at no time was Norris away from the child. On a Sunday afternoon, Norris had a violent episode where she believed she was God and that Satan had hidden himself in the body of the three-month-old. In the presence of Pope, Norris severely beat the child. Pope did not try to intervene, did not call the authorities, or seek medical care for the child. The child died later that evening. Pope was charged with various offenses in a nine-count indictment. The third count charged Pope with first-degree child abuse while “having the temporary care, custody and responsibility for the supervision” of the infant. The fifth count charged Pope with misprision of felony under common law alleging Pope willfully concealed and failed to disclose Norris’ felony actions with the intent to obstruct justice and allow Norris to escape unpunished. Pope was convicted on the two counts, and she appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Orth, 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 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.