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Youth and Government: A glance into Mock Trial

by Gabriella Zannis 

A man, Jude Smith, was found dead on a beach. Chief Marty, an expert medical examiner, stated in his affidavit that the death was a homicide due to stab wounds. Some agree it was a homicide, but the defense claims he was simply acting out of self-defense. What is true? What was his best friend’s intent? The prosecution and defense worked to find the answers to these difficult questions. Was Sam Cunningham guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Smith and Cunningham always had a fairly hostile relationship, but does this make him a murderer? 

Within the Mock Trial, a place of flaming accusations and difficult questions, delegates worked to embody the character and testimony of the witnesses. Playing the character of a witness or acting as an attorney, the delegates in Mock Trial worked to convince the Judge that they maintain or do not maintain substantial evidence to prove the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Memorizing an entire affidavit, or testimony of key players in a case, can be a daunting task. Amidst a heated courtroom environment, the delegates are working hard to not break a sweat! 

Similar to how the Missouri Compromise divided the nation in two, the statements divide the courtroom. Prosecution versus defense, murder vs self-defense, the Mock Trial delegates are working hard to make their case.