The trial of the century


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Court case - should the death penalty be abolished?

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The trial of the century

  1. 1. THE TRIAL OF THE CENTURY<br />SHOULD THE DEATH PEANLTY BE ABOLISHED?<br />Your job is to form a team that can put the death penalty on trial. In order for you to put forward your case effectively, you must organize yourselves into a well-oiled legal team. As you are a large group, the key to success will be in how well you organize yourselves. This is a big job and lives are at stake, so please make sure everyone in your team has the opportunity to make a contribution to the debate.<br />Your first job will be to allocate roles with your team. Have a look at the job titles and descriptions below to see who will best fit each role. Most of you will have to speak in open court, so get those presentation skills ready!<br />ROLEJOB DESCRIPTIONSKILLSChief Prosecutors(2 roles- Co-ordinate and organize the team- Help and advise speech makers, witness statements and cross examinations (preparation and on the day)- Be prepared to intervene during the trial to support your colleagues either in open court or behind the scenes- Decide on the best order in which the witnesses will appear.- Organised-Leader- Good communicator- Effective presentation skillsWITNESSES(4-6 roles – depending on how many points your team plan to argue in the trial)- Witnesses will go on the stand to give evidence in support of one argument. You will have one witness per argument.-They must take on an ‘expert’ role (e.g. police man, Dr) and become an expert on their particular argument.- They will be interviewed by a cross examiner from their own team, but then will be challenged on their issue by a cross examiner from the other team.- The judge will intervene to prevent them being questioned on an argument they are not familiar with.- Witnesses can only answer questions put to them by the cross examiners- Good communicator- Quick thinker- Expert on their argument- Must remember evidence to support their testimony – facts, figures, quotes.Cross-examiners(4 – 6)- These are the lawyers in court who will interview each witness. - For ‘friendly’ witnesses they will interview with a view to giving them the best opportunity to get their arguments across.-With the opposing team’s witnesses, you will ask questions/bring up arguments designed to undermine the arguments that they have been using. - Must have a detailed understanding of the witness (and their views) that they are cross examining- Quick thinker- Clear communicator- Good presentation skillsResearchers(2 roles)- Researchers are an important part of the team.-They must research all possible issues that may be used in support of your team’s view and must also research the opposite team’s.-Researchers pass on evidence/ideas to the appropriate team member who will then use them in court.- Researchers will also follow specific fact finding requests from other team members.- Good communicator- Team player- Effective research skills- Summarise/pick out important information and factsSpeech writers(2 roles)- Speech writers are responsible for delivering the opening and closing speeches.- The opening speech is designed to introduce your case – must be persuasive, explain which witnesses your team will be calling and why.- The writers will also follow the trial closely and write a speech as the trial is under way. This will be the closing speech that will summarise their team’s point of view and all the evidence that they have used in court to ‘prove’ their case- Excellent presentation skills.- A clear and effective writing style.- Attention to detail.- Good concentration.- A team playerDual RolesSome will have dual roles – if this is the case (due to numbers or because they have time spare), then remember a team member must prioritise their primary job and should not take on more than one speaking role in court.- Team player<br />Order of Proceedings<br />In the lesson before the court case, you must supply the cross examiners with the name and profession of each witness you will call in order for them to prepare their questions.<br />1 – Opening speeches (Pro then anti). These should be no more than five minutes long.<br />2 – Witnesses. Each team will take turns to call a witness. The witness should ban expert in one argument. The team who called the witness will be first to cross-examine them. Their aim is to help the witness to fully explain their point of view using as many facts etc as possible. The witness will then be turned over to the other team who will have a chance to cross examine them. The witness will only be able to discuss the area in which they are an expert. The opposing team must therefore be prepared to try and undermine their case by using questions and evidence from the same area (e.g. if the witness is a Dr then the cross examiner can only question them regarding medical reasons). The judges will police this.<br />3 – Once all the witnesses have been interrogated, then it is time for the closing speeches. The speech-writers will have a 10 minute recess in which to finish their (maximum of 5 minutes) speech. This speech will be delivered to the jury (anti death penalty followed by pro death penalty).<br />4 – The jury will then have a few minutes to deliberate before retuning their verdict to the court<br />JUSTICE IS DONE!<br />