About 500 students will converge in courtrooms this week as they compete in the Ventura County Office of Education's 25th annual Mock Trial competition. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, students on 20 teams will take on various roles, from prosecutors to defendants. They will present their arguments in the murder trial People v. Palmer in front of a county Superior Court judge or court commissioner.
"The whole idea is designed to clarify the workings of our legal system, with the kids portraying each of the roles," said project specialist Victoria Brown.
"It gives them fantastic knowledge on how our legal system works. The kids are just truly amazing."
Students are scored in categories, including pre-trial motions, opening statements and witness examinations.
Bailiffs, clerks, courtroom artists and journalists are also scored on their performances.
Students will compete in two trials each day from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Ventura County Hall of Justice, Brown said.
The winner of the county competition will advance to the state finals March 28-30 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The winner of the state competition will go on to the National High School Mock Trial Championship, to be held May 7-11 in Wilmington, Del.
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