Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

United States v. Branch

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
91 F.3d 699 (1996)


Facts

The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted Brad Eugene Branch and 11 others (defendants) for a variety of federal crimes, including aiding and abetting the murder of federal agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 1111, and 1114. The trial evidence established that the defendants were members of the Branch Davidian sect, a religious group that prepared for an apocalyptic battle at the end of time by amassing an arsenal of weapons and turning the sect's residential compound into a virtual fortress. The Davidians' leader, David Koresh, defied a federal search order. Koresh and many other Davidians armed themselves in anticipation of a government raid on the compound. About 75 uniformed federal agents soon arrived. As the agents approached, they shouted out their intention to enforce the search warrant. The Davidians unleashed a storm of gunfire on the agents, and the ensuing battle left four agents and three Davidians dead, as well as many agents and Davidians wounded. Agents surrounded the compound, and after a 51-day standoff, they tear-gassed the compound. The Davidians set fire to the compound and 84 residents died in the blaze. Following a trial that lasted almost two months, the judge instructed the jury that a defendant's conviction on the murder charge required proof that the defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of another. The judge refused the defense's request for a similar instruction on the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter. The jury convicted Branch and five other defendants of manslaughter, and they appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Higginbotham, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 498,000 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.

  2. 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 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers


Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial