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State v. Smith

Supreme Court of Vermont
396 A.2d 126 (Vt. 1978)


Facts

Smith (defendant) was charged with the rape of a babysitter and the murder of the child she was babysitting. Smith had previously been treated for personality disorders. At trial, Smith asserted an insanity defense and also requested that the trial court instruct the jury on its duty to determine the existence of Smith’s state of mind in the light of any diminished capacity they found Smith to have. The State argued that the diminished capacity doctrine was only applicable when intoxication was in question. The trial court declined Smith’s request and did not so instruct the jury. Smith was convicted. He appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Barney, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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