United States Supreme Court
427 U.S. 97 (1976)
Agurs (defendant) and James Sewell went to a motel to engage in sexual intercourse. A short time after entering the room, motel employees heard Agurs screaming for help. After forcing their way into the room, the motel employees saw Sewell on top of Agurs struggling for possession of a large bowie knife that Agurs was holding. Sewell was transported to a hospital where he later died from several stab wounds. Agurs was indicted for second-degree murder. At trial, evidence showed that after engaging in sexual intercourse, Sewell briefly left the room. Upon his return, Sewell believed that Agurs had taken approximately $360 from his pants’ pocket. Agurs claimed that Sewell attacked her and she attempted to fight him off by stabbing him in self-defense. Agurs was convicted. Three months later, Agurs’ defense counsel filed a motion for a new trial claiming the prosecutor failed to disclose key evidence related to Sewell’s criminal record and violent tendencies. The trial court denied the motion. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the undisclosed information required a new trial because the jury may have returned a different verdict had the information been admitted. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)
Dissent (Marshall, 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 220,000 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.