• Johanna Ziegler

You Be the Judge: Minarets Students Hold Mock Trial

Updated: 2 days ago

by Johanna Ziegler


Over sixty parents and students were eyewitnesses to this year’s mock trial held by English teacher, Michael Vaughan. Spectators watched closely as the prosecution and defense teams fervently argued their cases, the trial then reaching a dramatic climax as the jury announced an unexpected verdict.

Junior Ethan Hill presents evidence for the Prosecution

A mock trial, as indicated by the name, is a simulation of a real court case. Students are presented with a hypothetical criminal case, including witness statements and exhibits, and must compose arguments and utilize evidence to either defend or refute the innocence of the defendant on trial. Vaughan chose to hold a mock trial for his junior English students’ showcase because of all the challenges students must face during preparation. He says, “It showcases their ability to think critically, analyze and synthesize information, as well as present to a real audience.” Vaughan adds, “I like how competitive the students get. They want to win and therefore are invested in the project.”


This year’s case was The State of California v. Alex Buckley. Buckley, the alleged defendant, was accused of setting a dorm room on fire with the intent to murder Carly Walsh, his number one rival for a prestigious college scholarship. In a surprising turn of events, the jury voted in favor of Buckley’s innocence, 10 to 1. Needless to say, the defense team relished their victory.

Student jury votes Alex Buckley innocent

After court was adjourned, defense team member junior Jeremiah Stott said he enjoyed the experience overall because of how “realistic” it felt. After watching courtroom scenes in different films and tv shows, he was glad to experience what it felt actually “being apart of it.”


One parent commented after the trial that he appreciated that the students were given an opportunity like this, saying it helped students “understand how the American judicial system works.” The parent went on to say how this sort of exposure can encourage students to pursue careers in the legal system after high school.

Parent spectators watch the presentation of evidence

Overall, spectators seemed pleased with their students’ presentations during the trial. The mock trial is yet another example of creativity and analytical thinking in action, highlighting how Minarets is preparing students for an educational future.





--

Check out the rest of our Showcase articles in our Special Edition Newsletter!

Never miss an update. Subscribe to our newsletter.

40 views

©2020 by Minarets Press. Proudly created with Wix.com

The Chawanakee Unified School District prohibits discrimination, intimidation, harassment (including sexual harassment) or bullying based on a person’s actual or perceived age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, immigration status, marital status, medical information, national origin, parental status, pregnancy status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.  

For questions or complaints, contact Daniel Ching, Ph.D, Principal, 45077 Rd 225, O’Neals, CA 93645; 559-868-8689, dching@mychawanakee.org or Equity Officer and Title II, Title V, and Title IX Compliance Officer: Margaret Ameel, Ph.D., Director, Human Resources/Special Projects, 26065 Outback Industrial Way, O’Neals, CA 93645 or P.O. Box 400 North Fork, CA  93643, (559) 877-6209, mameel@mychawanakee.org

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now