STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) — It’s guilty or not guilty—in a case involving some exploding eggs.
That was the case tried by Jefferson County JVS and Steubenville High School students, which eventually came down to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.
There wasn’t an empty bench seat in Juvenile Court as Jefferson County judges entered the chamber Friday morning.
They were presiding over the Bar Association’s yearly mock trial, where aspiring attorneys get the chance to test their arguments in a real courtroom setting.
The two-person prosecution and defense teams spent hours studying the facts, zeroing in on opposing counsel’s weaknesses, and making a cross-examination-proof case.
“We wrote our questions multiple times, our teacher helped us a lot with going through the statements to learn the material throughout what kind of questions we should ask.”Allison Clifford, Defense attorney, Jefferson County JVS student
The case involved a young man who allegedly cheated on a take-home test, and played a prank at an alumni breakfast.
Whether or not he waived his right to remain silent quickly became a sticking point for both sides.
“Today the witness forgot that he said ‘I know my rights,’ and that’s how a lot of my arguments will be on. If he says he knows his rights, then it’s obvious he would know he could leave the room.”Kellen Marshall, Prosecuting attorney, Steubenville High student
From there it was a chess game of grilling witnesses and calling out the opposition for their line of questioning.
The case was designed to be 50-50, so students had to stay on their toes to catch any inconsistencies.
“Figuring out exactly how to put it without getting hit with the objections.”Allison Clifford, Defense attorney, Jefferson County JVS student
By closing arguments, it was clear that these are the young men and women you’ll want on your side of the courtroom.
And they left us with one final suggestion for anyone looking to catch someone lying.
“Basically you have to get them to fall into a trap without realizing it.”Kellen Marshall, Prosecuting attorney, Steubenville High student
Once all the arguments were complete, there was one last award to give out.
Deputy Clerk Ken Petrella received the Community Legal Service Award, for his assistance to Jefferson County outside of the workday.