Case Brief Assignment Brief the case of Burns v. Gagnon, et al. (Va.


Case Brief Assignment: Briefthe case of Burns v. Gagnon, et al. (Va. 2012)Case Analysis: Brief the caseof Burns v. Gagnon, et al. (Va. 2012)

Burns v. Gagnon

This is a case in which a student was injured during a fight atschool. Assistant principle had refused to act on warning report thata fight would occur that day in school. A third student hadencouraged the fight and one student was injured. During the courthearing the jury charged the assailants together with the assistantprinciple for negligence. The court refused to hold separate casesfor each defendant and tied the school principle to the fightcharges. The assistant principle had a legal liability duty to theinjured student. In part, the principle neglected his duty andassumed independent evidence about the fight. To this end, thecircuit court convicted the assistant principle together with thetortfeasors. The assistant principal appealed seeking protection ofsovereign immunity and challenged the independent evidence that ledto his conviction that he had grossly neglected his duties.

Issues Presented: The case involves violation of the sixthamendment right on the assistant principal’s right to counsel. Theadmissibility of independent evidence collected prior the fight.


According to the sixth amendment act, a suspect has a right forspeedy and fair trial which respects the convict’s rightsespecially while collecting evidence (LaFave, Wayne, Israel and King,2000). The evidence collected was from an independent source and nosearch warrant had been obtained. To this end the evidenceincriminating the assistant principle to gross negligence wasinadmissible. The collected evidence from the School’s suspect wasnot admissible since the suspect did not consent to the collection ofevidence. According to the exclusion rule, excluded evidence is notadmitted and as such it is not supposed to be included in thedecision making process.


In this case, therefore, the court was not justified in using the‘inevitable evidence’ since its collection process was an‘independent source’ and violated the constitution law theevidence was illegal and not collected in good faith. To this end,there was violation of the sixth amendment act and the court was notjustified in holding the court charges against the assistantprinciple for gross negligence (LaFave, Wayne, Israel and King,2000).


LaFave, Wayne R., Jerold H. Israel, and Nancy J. King, eds. 2000.Criminal Procedure. 3d ed. St. Paul, Minn.: WestGroup.