A gathering of the top twelve teams in Broward, Mock Trial County was held Friday, Feb. 7. The AHS team traveled to the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale with 12 students, six for prosecution and six for defense. For both the six prosecutors and the six kids on defense, three played lawyers and three were witnesses. Competition lasted all day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The team participated in three rounds: prosecution, defense, then prosecution again.
The Mock Trial rounds were all based on a case of arson. The defendant had confessed to setting fire to a campus building, however she argued that the confession was obtained through coercive methods and that other people at the scene that could have set the fire. The prosecution’s obligation was to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the confession got made lawfully and that it was the defendant and no other suspect that committed the arson.
After a long day of trial and hours of preparation, the results came in. Heritage fell just short of first place, placing second after Cypress Bay due to slightly lower performance points, despite the fact that both schools won all three rounds. While suffering a loss was thought to prevent the team from moving forward, for the first time ever, the county decided to send the top two teams to states instead of just one.
“We did amazing as a team and all learned a lot of the intricacies and detail of the law,” junior witness Anika Dham said. “It’s frustrating that Mock Trial is as subjective as it is, and we were probably mere points away from winning, but what matters the most is that we tried our best and performed to the best of our ability.”