From parking tickets to lawsuits, the legal system requires us to have an understanding of the processes fundamental to our democracy. On Wednesday, March 29th Conant’s Criminal Justice students gained first-hand experience bringing criminals to justice in a highly anticipated mock trial.
Students from the two classes arrived at the Jaffrey-Peterborough District Court and were soon immersed in the various roles necessary to create two mock trials. Training for these roles began several months in advance of the court date. Students were divided into separate attorney teams for prosecution and defense. Roles included attorneys, paralegals, witnesses, clerks and bailiffs.
The mock trial experience was bolstered by the participation of District Attorney Rick Carpenter as the acting judge. Both of the trials dealt with serious crimes that required students to have understanding of the laws, court procedures, objections and etiquette. The mock-trial fostered the development and practical use of public speaking, collaboration and group work skills. Students also had to demonstrate their abilities to quickly solve problems and make use of procedural skills. Mr. Carpenter debriefed the students about the trials and provided excellent feedback and insight into the court procedures. It was a wonderful learning experience for these students and they certainly gained confidence and pride from participating in this process!
Photo courtesy of Cory Ducharme.