The mock trial we held in class progressed pretty well within the two days we had. With the amount of time that we had to prep for the trial and the amount of experience we had about trials, we as a class improvised and adjusted perfectly. Our peek was on our second day, when everyone practiced their skills that they accumulated after messing up on the first day. The trial on the first day was a rough one, for everyone had to get into the mindset of what we needed to do, and everyone had no idea what was protocol at the time and what is not.
We did not know what we were doing, however by the second day we started to know our roles and everyone got into their own style in completing the task at hand. The first day all we had was knowledge of the Police Report if you were sent the police report and we were given our roles on the spot. The trial that went on in the classroom was very similar to a real case, for we set up the classroom into a court setting and the roles were distributed as evenly as possible.
For the case that we did, Trevor was the bailiff, Deanicia was the stenographer, Chloe and Lawrence were representing the state as the prosecutors, Angeline was the defense council, Tyree and Sim were officers from Fairfield Police Department, Brianna was the victim, Nayeli was the witness, John was the foreman for the jury and I was the defendant in this case. We were each responsible for our own role to make sure the trial was as close to a real case as possible. In the beginning the two leading attorneys representing each council made their opening statements stating what the case was about and their purpose for the trial.
The goal of the prosecutors, Chloe’s and Lawrence’s job, was to ensure that the police report was justified and that all guilt was pointed towards myself, the defendant. The goal of the defense council was to poke holes on the preponderance of evidence and cast a shadow of doubt in the case. This would ensure that the defendant could not have been the only person to be accused of the crime that was stated. I was the defendant in this trial and it was a position that filled me with suspense. My defense attorney played a tough game, and was not going to let the prosecution get off with an easy one.
Sure we did have some objections, but it was all for a good cause, except for the last objection when we started to trail the witness into making an irrelevant statement regarding this particular case at hand. The defense council started to review department policies in reading the defendant’s Miranda rights instead of focusing on the police report. As the defendant, all i had to do was show up in court and look pretty for my defense attorney to take care of me, and deem myself innocent in the eyes of the law.
I would rather play the bailiff or be a part of the jury for it is a different perspective to actually be in the court mix and having to just sit and listen to the trial at hand. The bailiff has an attentive job, opening and closing each case and protecting the judge and the participants in the courthouse from any forms of mishaps or violent actions. The bailiff in this case was pretty relaxed for in our mock trial a jury member, John Choi, walk onto the court floor getting really close to the judge and stenographer and the bailiff was just in the corner watching instead of being progressive and acting to the event at hand.
In a real court case this would have ended badly for the jurymen. The best part of the trial was listening to the question that the defense council made up to counter the prosecution. I started to form questions in my head acting if I was the defense council and I could not think of some of the things that my attorney was asking to whoever was on the stand. That was very impressive and it sparked a moment of relief that she was able to poke that many holes in the witness’s testimony. An entertaining part of the trial was also watching the stenographer trying to keep up with reporting everything that is being said.
It was pretty amazing to see how accurate Deanicia was after she shared the trail script with us. After rereading what was said I had forgotten a lot that was covered in the trial. Now I see how important and how useful the trial script would be when in a real court scenario. This would be even more useful if the case was appealed and had to be sent for judicial review. The worst part of the trail was watching Sim in agony on the witness stand, for the defense council was just pounding him with questions.
In a real court case, his testimony would be a little sketchy for if an officer is to testify in court they would know their police report inside and out, otherwise that could show how credible the source is. It is really difficult to be in a court setting and expected to think. Even though we were in a mock trial, when you are on the stand your mind tends to go blank for you are trying to comprehend what is best to do next and thinking what can I do next to make my testimony more realistic.
The attorney’s had a rough day the first day, and you can see it in their eyes and poster, they were stuck many times and they were corrected many times by the judge. The trial overall went well. Everyone lived up to their role and gave their best to making this court case as realistic as possible. There were many instances in our mock trial that would not pass in procedure in a real court case, but this is where the educational aspects come into play. We have no time in and timeouts in the real court procedures, but we learned from our mistakes and we overcame.
Everyone participated also started to change their mindset turning the wheels in their head creating questions every time one was asked. This is the key to being a good attorney and winning your side of council. The mock trial was a great experience and I hope we get to experience something like this once more. It was a great way to test our skills in throwing questions out right off the top of your head. You really had to think hard for you should be four or five questions in when you ask your first question, and you must tray a sense of confidence to get the truth out. A great way to make this experience better is to have more prep time in terms of the two, prosecution and defense councils, to get a better understanding of the case at hand and also have time for them to prepare more thought out and in depth questions. Then the trial would not stop every so often and it would be a pretty smooth way to proceed. Since our class is already so small it was not hard to get the roles distributed and to ensure everyone is in a main role.
This was the best part of the trial and we were able to be right in the mix away from the other distractions a full class would have. Overall, the mock trial we had was a great way to experience what the judicial system is like. With the little knowledge we had, we as a class did well with adjusting and making sure everyone was doing what they were suppose to be doing. I enjoyed all aspects of the trial and I hope we get to participate in something like this again. It was very insightful to see the skills that everyone put to the table and to see what and actual trail would look like.