Mock Trial in English Class

By Colleen Zeiss, 8th Grade Dean

The seventh-grade English classes conducted separate mock trials on Friday, February 1st. The case, People of Oklahoma versus Johnny Cade, was based on S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders. The prosecution claimed that the defendant, Johnny Cade, was guilty of first-degree murder of another character, Bob Sheldon. The defense team claimed that Johnny Cade was not guilty by reason of defense of another.

The prosecution had the burden of proving the murder was willful, premeditated, and deliberate. The defense needed to establish three elements of its claim of defense of another: first, the defendant believed that the threat was imminent; second, his fear was reasonable; and third, that he acted with proportional force.

There were two classes and two trials. After careful deliberations, the two juries for the separate trials came back with different verdicts. For period one, the verdict was not guilty. Period three scored a win for the prosecution: guilty.

All students played a role in the trial: witness, judge, or lawyer. A special thanks to the jurors: Mr. Gary Stern, Mrs. Melanie Dosen, Mr. Jason Moore, and Mrs. Deb Snyder.

We have many burgeoning lawyers and judges here at High Point!

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