by Melissa Chen and Vivian Chang, fact checker and news editor
Student law court gained a real life experience of how the courtroom works. The middle school law court members visited the New York State Supreme Court in Long Island City on January 11th, 2017.
Students were brought up to the courtroom where Judge Robert McDonald introduced himself and told a few famous cases that were tried in that very room, including Ruth Snyder’s conviction. Snyder’s conviction sparked controversy, after a picture of her execution was printed on the first page of a newspaper the following day.
“I think it’s a fantastic experience because the only exposure they have to law are television shows but television shows aren’t real life. Today they were exposed to to real life cases where they participate and learn how difficult it is without a script that actors have,” elected judge Robert J. McDonald said.
Honor Robert McDonald then let Captain Thomas Flinn to continue informing students. He told students about his journey to where he is today and gave advice to students about what to do when encountering a police officer.
Students also had the opportunity to participate in a mock trial with guidance from Captain Flinn. The students were given a scenario in which some students acted as the witnesses while others acted as the jury, suspect, prosecutor, and defendant.
“It helped us learn about the federal court system and how they work. It also helped us explain right from wrong and helped set an example of what the law court at school should be like,” seventh grade law court member Maaheen Ali said.