Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mock Trial

I assisted with a law school trial advocacy course tonight by serving as a juror in a mock trial.

The trial involved a real case from 2003 involving several charges stemming from someone who entered private property and an altercation with the property that ensued.

The charges were malicious wounding against the landowner (with lesser charges of unlawful wounding and assault and batter), assault and battery against the landowner's wife and trespassing. We found not guilty on all charges except the trespassing. The charge of assault against the landowner was the most contentious. On the one guilty charge of trespassing, we recommended 30 days plus a $250 fine. In the real trial, the verdict was guilty on assault against the landowner, with six months plus a fine.

It was a fascinating experience, though uncomplete as they had to compress an entire trial into a few hours. All the attorneys (law students) were decent, though the defense was leagues better than the prosecution. Suffice to say that if I needed an attorney, there were two that I would definitely not hire.

The jury was made up of forceful personalities. We were going with majority rule, and did not have much time, so it wasn't an accurate deliberation experience, but was interesting none the less. It was respectfully heated, which was fun.

Since my family seems to be genetically unable to get called for jury duty (despite wanting to), this is probably as close as I'll ever get, and it was fun.


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