Four Mock Trial teams from John Winthrop Middle School competed in a regional competition at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School, in Wallingford, on February 6th. 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. Accused of the crime was the joint owner of the restaurant. However, a local loan shark had motive to murder since the deceased owed the loan shark over $200,000.00.
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 do 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.