By Judge Jim Redwine
It is sometimes said that citizens should not watch sausage being made if they want to enjoy it at breakfast and they should not watch the legislature in action if they want to have faith in the product it turns out. But, citizens should come to court and listen to well prepared lawyers present competing positions within established procedures under the guidance of a trained and neutral judge. These principles were in evidence this Law Day when bright and energetic students from North Posey and Mount Vernon high schools asked a jury composed of members of the Posey County Bar Association to decide if a fictional gun ownership ordinance should pass. The jury said no, but, as the Foreperson of the Jury, Posey County Bar President Donald Baier said in open court, “It was a close call”.
Witnesses were examined and cross-examined and arguments were fashioned according to the law of the fictional case and the facts as contained within the allowable parameters of the Mock Trial. The Jury had the same type of important and difficult task real Posey County juries have. A fair decision based on the applicable law and the evidence was what was called for and what was given.
As Judge Almon of the Posey Superior Court who presided said, “The students did a superb job”. And, as several of the real attorneys serving on the jury observed, “The students on both sides excelled”.
The students and their teachers and the real life officers of the court had a lot of fun, but took the exercise seriously. It was not a one way learning experience. Posey County’s future looks bright.
Congratulations and kudos to all the students. Thanks to the teachers and school administrators. Thanks to members of the Posey County Bar Association for sponsoring and participating in Law Day 2013. And, a special thank you to the staff of the Posey Circuit Court for hosting this educational exercise and tribute to America’s commitment to the Rule of Law.
By Judge Jim Redwine
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