Friday, December 31, 2010

Flashback Friday # 120

The Trial

A warm welcome to you on this last day of 2010. Perhaps you are bewildered at the title of this Flashback Friday post. If asking yourself how a trial has to do anything with childhood memories perplexes you, continue reading.

In our history class (the same one that had the slave auction)we held a mock trial. Here is the synopsis. A man was driving home from a party. He had four martinis while there. His car's defroster did not work properly. While he was wiping fog from the windshield, a boy ran from between two cars and was struck by this man's car and killed. His alcohol blood level was beneath the states limit for drunk driving. Is he responsible for the death of this child?

Mr. Bowser assigned everyone a role to play. He chose a judge, bailiff, 12 member jury, expert witnesses and defense and prosecuting attorney teams. I was one member of the three man prosecuting attorney team. The most popular boy in the class was chosen to be the car driver.

The defense kept hammering the point that the driver wasn't drunk. We kept hammering the point that, yes, he wasn't drunk, but he was impaired. We also pointed out the he knew his vehicle was unsafe, but continued to drive it.

Unlike the slave auction, that took all day, the trial was kept to the confines of the regular class schedule. Since this was the case, the trial lasted a week, given the testimonies from the various witness and the cross examination thereof.

On the day of closing arguments, I was chosen to give the closing argument for the prosecution. If I must say so myself, it was quite a rousing rendition. It would have made Perry Mason proud. However, since the jury was nine girls and three boys, the jury became hung on convicting the driver. The foreman argued that since the boy was jaywalking, the driver couldn't be held responsible. I personally think that the girls didn't want the popular, hunky boy to think that they didn't like him.

Since the jury was hung, there was no conviction. Mr. Bowser said that this was the first time that the driver hadn't been convicted. I have to wonder if he purposely selected jurors that he knew admired the popular boy.

That got me interested in possibly becoming a lawyer. Who knows, if the cost of law school wasn't so prohibitive to my family, it might have happened some day.

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