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Mock trial teaches students about court proceedings

POSTED: May 8, 2014 12:20 a.m.

Fourth-graders from Fair Street Elementary School in Gainesville on Wednesday had their constitutional and civic knowledge tested on the spot.

It took them a few tries to guess which amendment guaranteed the right to remain silent, and not all of them had nailed down their court terminology.

“Where does the bad guy sit?” one boy asked Senior Public Defender Larry Duttweiler, who took the not-so-legal phrasing in stride.

“And I thought you were my good juror,” he said, after motioning to where the “defendants,” he clarified, can be found during trials in Superior Court.

Duttweiler is one of many attorneys who explain the legal process to children as part of Law Week, which wrapped up last Friday, although in-court tours were postponed then due to rainy weather.

The trial process is framed by mock proceedings for a defendant the children are familiar with — Goldilox, aka Goldilocks of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.


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