MGTC Dual Enrollment Criminal Justice Students Host Mock Trial
Warner Robins - Students in Middle Georgia Technical College's (MGTC) Criminal Justice dual enrollment program recently conducted a mock trial competition as an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in their field of study. Students enrolled in the program at the Houston County Career and Technology Center (HCCTC) and at MGTC's Hawkinsville campus took part. This project was a culmination of their studies for winter quarter.
Bobby Brown, instructor for the Criminal Justice dual enrollment program, wanted to give his students an opportunity not only to gain hands-on experience, but also to showcase the skills they have learned throughout the program.
"I am so proud of our students," said Brown. "Many students only observe criminal cases on television, but this event gave them first-hand knowledge in the steps it takes to bring a criminal defendant to justice. This event simply shows us the kind of talent we have in our Criminal Justice program."
Students were divided into teams and provided with information involving a defendant charged with murder and felony murder. Students had to develop case theories, gather evidence and information, prepare witnesses for trial examination, and anticipate what their opponent's plan of action would be. Students served as attorneys, witnesses defendants, and police officers.
Brown and his students invited administrators from both MGTC and the HCCTC to observe the mock trial proceedings.
"I thought the event was great," said Kim Burger, assistant principle for the Houston County Career and Technology Center. "I was amazed at how well the students handled themselves."
Alicia Long, MGTC High School Initiatives coordinator, said "The students did an excellent job and made it appear so real."
During the Houston County mock trial, the jury reached a verdict of not guilty on both counts. However, in Hawkinsville, the jury was split on the verdict and found the defendant not guilty of murder, but guilty on felony murder charges.
To find out more about dual enrollment opportunities or the Criminal Justice program at Middle Georgia Technical College, call 478.988.6800 or log on to www.middleGAtech.edu.
Troy Blanton makes his case as the district attorney, at the Houston County Career and Technology center mock trial while defense attorney Sheri Watts (seated left) and defendant Haley Brunetti listen.