Mock Trial Review

Mr. Adamski’s Intro to Law classes before pre-pandemic have always had a mock trial at the end of May. After three years of no mock trials due to the pandemic, the return brought sophomores, juniors, and seniors alike. The two mock trials involved his two classes and the period two mock trial never fell short of anyone’s expectations. With a week of testimony, witnesses, cross-examinations, and objections, the jury deliberated to find the defendant, Philip, guilty of first degree murder and underage drinking in the death of his girlfriend. At the conclusion of the case, Mr. Adamski revealed the truth: Philip was in fact not guilty of murder, rather it was the deceased girlfriend’s best friend, Juliana, who had committed the crime. Sadly the main Kearnian editors were not able to skip 5th period too for a week to witness the other trial, but we would still like to share our thoughts on 2nd period’s trial. 


Arwa: I arrived on the second day of the trial, eagerly watching trying to piece together what was said to what the case was. I found the case entertaining and at times was confused about the witnesses brought up to the stands. There were times I was at the edge of my seat, waiting to see  how far the defense would interrogate the witness only to be ready to jump up when the defense handed over their witness to the prosecution. The recaps the prosecution did at the beginning of each day helped everyone in the courtroom be up to date on where the case would continue from and allowed those still trickling in to understand the case. While the prosecution objected to many of the defense’s questions, which left them in a dazz to keep up, the defense still put up a hard battle and tried to examine the case from every angle. Although the case was intriguing, some of the evidence seemed confusing and pointed the case into numerous other directions. While the jury deliberated, I recalled all of the evidence and felt the defendant was innocent because of the gaps given in the witness testimonies and the loose ends that were never pursued by the defense, but I had a feeling the jury would find him guilty because the prosecution had a stronger argument and presented themselves more confidently and more prepared.


Sabrina: I started watching the trial on day 2 so I missed out on the important opening statements and first testimonies and such, but I quickly caught up with what was going on. I think the judge and lawyers did a good job at making sure everyone was up to speed at the beginning of each day. usually murder cases are just a simple “who done it” case and i think 2nd period’s case was no different. The evidence provided to the jury and the audience was quite vague in terms of the complexity of the situation. We were only given a vague autopsy report, a picture of the deceased Diana and a handprint at the crime scene, and various texts. While the prosecution and defense were building their cases off of witness testimonies, I thought the whole case could be solved with the right kind of evidence. For example, a drug report on Diana, testimony from the investigators who found the body and streetlight camera footage of the crime. but even without that it was really cool being able to see both sides build their cases off of the information given by the witnesses. There were still ups and downs in the testimonies but I think those were what were able to sway the opinions of the jury the most. While the jury did decide wrongly in the end, I thought it was good that a lot of people in the room were able to guess the correct verdict. 


Juliette: I watched the last two days of the mock trial and even with the evidence and statements I never really understood what the crime was. The evidence honestly was not the best and multiple questions weren’t asked that I felt needed to be answered. However the students did manage to get to an end where the verdict seemed about right compared to an actual trial. There were many potholes in the questioning of the witnesses and evidence that wasn’t briefly discussed like the handprint for example. The interrogation should’ve been a bit more longer and could have brought more than what it did. Towards the end of the 2nd witness questioning I definitely believed that Philip was not guilty as the answers given seemed to make less and less sense. The responses were very vague making the mock trial kind of obscure which says something coming from someone who barely understands anything about the law or trials. Juliana being the culprit wasn’t much of a surprise after hearing the testimony from the Applebees worker where he hinted her presence at the crime scene. However it was swept under the rug and never mentioned again. The overall outcome of the trial was expected nonetheless; you can tell that for a first time mock trial after the pandemic the students enjoyed this experience.