Published March 16, 2017. Last updated 01:48 p.m., March 17, 2017
Four Mock Trial teams from John Winthrop Middle School recently competed in a regional competition at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School in Wallingford. Seventeen teams attended, including a team from Maryland. Although John Winthrop did well, no teams were able to win both their Prosecution and Defense. This year’s case centered on a murder that occurred in a restaurant after hours; the joint owner of the restaurant was accused of the crime, however, a local loan shark had motive to murder since the deceased owed the loan shark more than $200,000.
Each team must have three lawyers and three witnesses for both prosecution and defense. Affidavits are provided for each witness, as are multiple exhibits for use in the trial. Each team must assign one lawyer to present an opening, and one lawyer to present the closing argument. Local attorneys judge each trial and provide feedback for each team. Mock Trial competitions promote an understanding and appreciation of the American judicial system. In addition, mock trials provide students with critical thinking skills and help them gain confidence in public speaking.