Complete Story
 

03/10/2021

Ohio Mock Trial Champion to be Decided in Virtual Courtroom

Ohio Mock Trial Champion to be Decided in Virtual Courtroom

 

COLUMBUS (Mar. 10, 2021) - Beginning Thurs., March 11, 2021, more than 200 high school students representing 15 schools from across Ohio will vie for the title of state champion of the 38th Annual Ohio Mock Trial Competition, hosted in virtual format by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE).

 

The 2021 Ohio Mock Trial case takes an inside look at the justice system by having students examine what prosecutors are required to disclose during plea negotiations. The fictitious case centers on Micah Opessa, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of their former best-friend, Haumea Robins. A year into their sentence, Micah learns that the main eyewitness to the crime recanted their testimony. Now, Micah has filed a motion to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming the prosecutor violated Micah’s constitutional rights by knowingly withholding this information when they offered Micah a plea deal. The Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland requires the prosecution to overturn exculpatory evidence during trial. In this Mock Trial case, students will argue whether this precedent also applies to plea negotiations.  

Mock trial teams from the following high schools advanced from district and regional competitions to compete at the state level: Centerville High School (Montgomery County), Danville High School (Knox County), Dublin Jerome High School (Union County), Hilliard Davidson High School (Franklin County), Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County), Nordonia High School (Summit County), Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School (Geauga County), Orange High School (Cuyahoga County), Revere High School (Summit County), St Edward High School (Cuyahoga County), Sylvania Southview High School (Lucas County), Talawanda High School (Butler County), Upper Arlington High School (Franklin County), West Jefferson High School (Madison County), and Westerville North High School (Delaware County).

 

OCLRE Mock Trial Program Coordinator, Danielle Wilmot, explains that this year’s case “was inspired in part by the New York Times Best Seller Charged by Emily Bazelon. Charged presented for OCLRE a great opportunity to turn a complicated topic into a learning experience. Plea deals account for so many convictions in the justice system and this year’s case will challenge students to examine how the process works.”

Ohio Mock Trial is a program of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) and is Ohio’s largest high school academic competition. More than 3,500 students participate each year, and approximately 1,000 legal professionals volunteer to serve as judges, competition coordinators and team advisors. Each year, OCLRE writes an original case based on a relevant constitutional issue. Students must prepare arguments for both plaintiff and defense. Mock Trial is designed to educate students about the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Students also develop critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills.

 

The three-day state competition will culminate with a final round, to be held online on Sat., March 13. The 2021 State Champion will represent Ohio at the National High School Mock Trial Championship, hosted virtually by the Indiana Bar Foundation in Evansville, IN May 13-15.

 

OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. The Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Ohio State Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation sponsor the OCLRE.  The Ohio Mock Trial program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. For more information about OCLRE, please call (877) 485-3510 or visit www.oclre.org.

 

###

Printer-Friendly Version


Partnering with Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

Our Sponsors

Ohio Supreme Court      Ohio Attorney General      Ohio State Bar Association      ACLU