Supreme Court of Minnesota
463 N.W.2d 758 (1990)
The parents and siblings of David Brom (defendant) were found dead in their home with numerous gash wounds. The ax used in the slayings was found in the basement of the house with Brom’s fingerprints on the handle. Brom was charged with murder in connection with the deaths of his parents and siblings. Brom pleaded both not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, and Brom’s trial was bifurcated pursuant to Minnesota law. The first phase of the trial was the guilt phase. During this phase, Brom wished to introduce expert psychiatric testimony to prove that he was incapable of premeditation. The trial court ruled the testimony inadmissible and instructed the jury not to consider evidence of Brom’s mental illness during the guilt phase. The jury found Brom guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. During the second phase of the trial, or the insanity phase, the burden was on Brom to prove his mental illness by a preponderance of the evidence. Brom presented expert testimony from four psychiatrists, two of whom concluded that Brom was not legally insane at the time of the murders. All of the experts, however, agreed that Brom suffered from some form of mental impairment. The jury found Brom guilty of all four counts of first-degree murder, and the court imposed four life sentences. Brom appealed, arguing that the court had violated his due process rights in refusing to admit expert psychiatric testimony on the issue of premeditation in the guilt phase of the trial.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tomljanovich, J.)
Dissent (Wahl, 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 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 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.