HB Legal Studies class creates mock trial


Mario Barassi

HB Legal Studies students gather together for a mock trial. The fourth period class is taught by Mrs. Kirby.

Mario Barassi, Assistant Sports Editor

It is on the news every day: a local trial going on in the community. Sometimes the suit is a high profile case, such as the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, or the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Judges are assigned, jurors are selected, and witnesses are called. On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, fourth period Legal Studies, taught by Mrs. Kirby, ran a mock trial during class. It was a domestic abuse case and all of the students had a role, spanning from a bailiff, witnesses attorneys, etc. Some students were brought in from other classes as the jury.

The mock trial ran like a real one. The facts of the case were read to the jurors who, according to the sixth amendment, must be impartial during trials. The judge then allowed the attorneys to remove jurors from the jury based on the application. The trial started with opening statements from both sides, then the witnesses were called to the stand. Each side cross examined every witness.

Many of the students who participated have a genuine interest in becoming a lawyer, including Selene Berube ‘17, who acted as one of the defense attorneys. Berube  enjoyed the mock trial: “I want to be a lawyer and I like taking evidence and forming a case and an argument. Mrs. Kirby said it is important to do mock trials, “because of the lack of trials [today]. Most cases are dismissed or end up in a plea of guilty which leads to a plea bargain between defense and prosecution.”

The jury took a recess, deliberated, then returned with a verdict. The jurors ruled with the prosecution. Bryce Newsham ’17 said, “Despite the fact the defense showed there had been no previous abuse, the prosecution proved that the defendant was capable of causing harm.” After the class finished, jurors expressed their opinions on the trial. Mitch Coutu ‘17 said his favorite part was, “Watching the whole process of [the trial].” Despite the verdict, the mock trial proved to be a great learning experience for HB Legal Studies students.