In this lesson, students will stage a mock trial to resolve a hypothetical dispute. They will develop an understanding of the trial process, the roles of those in the courtroom and their importance to the administration of justice, and the significance of their constitutional protections.
Students will participate in a moot appellate court argument dealing with the fictional case of Lee Richardson v. Lincoln. The fact pattern involves a challenge to a state law that restricts when counsel is appointed for criminal defendants. This moot court experience will provide students with an understanding of how the adversarial court system works, how the courts review the constitutionality of legislation, and the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.
In this lesson, students will read about and discuss the Scottsboro Trials from the 1930s. This miscarriage of justice clearly demonstrates why the ability to appeal is essential to our judicial system. The story also shows the struggle for racial equality, and the importance of the right to counsel and fair trial for all Americans.
In this lesson, students will be presented with various cases of discrimination. They will identify the discriminatory practice, and discuss the difference between permitted and illegal discrimination. The instructor might then lead discussion about the difficulties in drafting laws that ensure no discrimination while not interfering too much with private citizens’ freedoms.