Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't mock this trial

This past Friday, half of the 9th Grade participated in the latest installment of Law Day. Law Day, a four-part program that introduces students to facets of the law relevant to their lives, occurs every month throughout the course of one's freshman year at TMA. Themes of Law Day include discrimination, advocacy, and preparation.

On Friday, students studied various aspects of a criminal trial. Students, separated into 4 groups, then planned and performed a mock trial, The People vs. Zora Peters, using what they had just learned and incorporating eyewitness testimony and documentary evidence. In the case, Zora (a decorated martial arts student) is accused of battery after an altercation with her (lower-belted) peer Jamaal Bond. Students chose their roles, giving opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination, serving as witnesses and delivering the judgment in the case. Students thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on activity, relishing the opportunity to be a litigator in action. At the end of the afternoon, the results were split evenly among the 4 groups, with the defense winning two acquittals and the prosecution levying two convictions.

Above: Darnell Hudson channels his inner Thurgood Marshall in giving a eloquent and moving cross-examination of the prosecution. His performance, as one judge pointed out, was the pivotal moment in his client's eventual acquittal.

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