Mock Trials Give Philadelphia Youngsters a Taste of Jury Duty

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In celebration of “Law Day” in Pennsylvania, area elementary school students were recruited for some serious business today: serving jury duty.

At Philadelphia City Hall, the elementary school students got a taste of what it’s like to be in a real courtroom when they served as jurors in mock trials.

Judge George Overton presided over one of the fairy tale cases:  Jack, of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” was facing several charges.

“Yes, breaking and entering, theft, and assault,” the judge noted.

The young jurors heard the case, deliberated, and picked the foreman to deliver the verdict:  “On the charge of breaking and entering, guilty.”


(Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(Credit: Hadas Kuznits)


The judge called for “order in the court” as a woman in the gallery, Mrs. Jack, cried out, “No, no,” when the verdict was announced.

The kids, mostly eight years old, said they enjoyed looking at the story from a different perspective.

“It was very fun,”said one girl.  What did she learn?

“That Jack was a big thief.”

And was this how she imagined it to be if the fairy tale had gone to court?

“No, ’cause I didn’t expect all the drama,” she said.


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