On Monday, Nov. 4, the prosecution side of the Archer Mock Trial team competed against an all-boys’ school. Weeks of preparation and hours after school “laid the foundation” for the prosecution side to tackle round one, while members of the defense attended as moral and practical support.
The team meets on Mondays and Wednesdays after school and Thursdays at lunch to prepare for the trials. The prosecution was up first on Nov. 4 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. While the girls waited outside the court for the round to start, they gave each other a pep talk. When the judge arrived, the trial began.
The trial revolved around a made up scenario about student Rae Concha— charged with second degree murder of Jason Johnson. The facts of this fictional case were as follows: Johnson collapsed one day during band practice and died en route. After some blood tests, results found Adderall and alcohol in his system. Before Johnson’s death, an undercover narcotics officer, Robin Doherty, was assigned to attend Rosewood High school (the school at which this incident occurred) because of an evident drug problem.
Officer Doherty became friends with Rae Concha, Jason Johnson, and Alex Weaver, who transferred to Rosewood after being expelled from Alex’s previous school. The defendant, Rae Concha, was charged with second degree murder. Rae had a prescription for Adderall while Jason did not, and supposedly Rae supplied the medicine to Jason Johnson. However, the defense argues that Alex Weaver’s controversial character and one-time use of Adderall make Alex suspicious.
Character names are gender neutral so anyone can play the parts.
The audience included a couple of the participants’ parents and some members of the defense. With the audience watching attentively, each member of the court (such as the witnesses, lawyers and time-keepers of the court) introduced themselves and the role they would be portraying.
Once the court was officially in session, both the defense and prosecution gave their opening statements followed by the witnesses’ direct and cross examinations. Each side fought vigorously throughout the trial. In the end, both sides gave their closing statements.
So was he guilty or innocent? The judge makes a ruling at the end of the trial and in this case, Rae Concha was convicted as non-guilty. The “jury” or scoring attorneys provided scores and feedback for the competitors.
After the trial ended, the judge congratulated each participant and, as a nice gesture, asked all participants what their future plans were. Some saw themselves performing their Mock Trial roles as professional careers.
Group photos were taken and after some talking, teams departed to their schools.