Ohio Students Try Murder Case in Annual Mock Trial Showcase
By Anne Yeager | April 23, 2018
Dressed in period costumes, nearly 450 Ohio middle school students filled the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center for the annual mock trial showcase.
This year's case was based on the "True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle," where aboard a cargo ship from England to the United States in the 1800s, Doyle is charged with the murder of an officer.
But did she do it?
Sherwood Middle School student Jade Soublet played Charlotte Doyle.
"She is basically fighting for her life," Soublet said. "You have to fight back with your answers and explain the whole story so that people actually get a feel for what you are feeling."
The mock trial program helps students learn about the legal system and develop reading, research, writing, and public speaking skills.
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, or OCLRE, hosted the showcase.
"It's really nerve racking, but once you get through it's pretty easy," said Independence Middle School student Jordan Kohut. "You have to make your point and make the judges know what you are trying to say."
The judges can be intimidating, but they caught some students off guard.
"A lot of things surprised me," said Sherwood Middle School student Aysia Smith. "The judges surprised me. I would have expected them to be rude. They were nice. They weren't rude and they really got down to business."
The day was full of surprises. The competition was intense with other schools, while Sherwood Middle School student Meia Stevens explains, their practices with their fellow Sherwood students are more relaxed.
"When we go up against each other, we take it easy," said Stevens. "We want them to succeed. Our competition really put up a fight. It was surprising."
A final surprise occurred when Jade Soublet took home the award for outstanding witness.
"To me, it means I did a really good job for my first year doing mock trial," Soublet said. "It was different and unique in a way. I didn't know if I'd like it but once you get into the roles, it's really fun."