A Practicum in Government

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Mr. Bradley Cox’s 11th and 12th grade Government classes received a hands on experience with our nation’s third branch of government, the Judiciary, when they performed mock trials in the Ray Schafer Library here at Ball High during the past week.

“We were finishing the Judicial Branch, so I let each class act out a case of their choosing,” explained Cox. “All members had to participate whether as a judge, a defendant or just a juror.

“All classes had different ‘facts’ ranging from counterfeiting, DUI, manslaughter, murder, bank robbery and hit-and-run; and ending in a combination of ‘verdicts’: guilty, not-guilty, reduced-charge etc.”

Many of the government students enjoyed the experience of the mock trials and their opportunity to act as prosecutors and judges.

Paul Valdez, who played the role of a judge stated, “I liked learning about the justice system in an immersive way and being hands-on, wearing the robe.”

Adoania Salazar acted as a bailiff for a judge. “It was enjoyable because the learning was in action.”

Mina Garcia enjoyed her role as a prosecutor. “I liked to ask the questions and get the experience.  It was also challenging … I would love to do it again”.

The mock trials took place at the Trial Court level of a US District Court case in a Criminal trial focusing on Original Jurisdiction.

Mr. Cox enjoyed the experience of his students discovering the power and responsibilities of the US judicial system. “I’m encouraged by the knowledge gained by struggling to get the truth, it made for a wonderful week.”

Senior Jaimee Baer, role of Defense Counsel/Attorney was enthused about the mock trials. “I liked the intensity of the [it]; it felt like a real case.”

The mock trials also impressed Assistant Principal Julia Rodriguez, “Yes! This is what it’s all about! Great job Mr. Cox!”

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