Community Papers

Penticton students have day in court

Acting sheriff Harmeet Gill (right) keeps a close guard on Haiden Gardner (left), playing Sneezy the wolf, during Law Day at the Penticton courthouse on Friday. The Skaha Lake Middle School students conducted a mock trial with members of Crown counsel and the Penticton bar as an introduction to learn about the law profession and the court system. - Kristi Patton/Western News
Acting sheriff Harmeet Gill (right) keeps a close guard on Haiden Gardner (left), playing Sneezy the wolf, during Law Day at the Penticton courthouse on Friday. The Skaha Lake Middle School students conducted a mock trial with members of Crown counsel and the Penticton bar as an introduction to learn about the law profession and the court system.
— image credit: Kristi Patton/Western News

Luke Skywalker and Sneezy the wolf will be spending some time behind bars after a group of students argued their positions in court on Friday.

Provincial Crown counsel and members of the Penticton bar teamed up to conduct mock trials with high school and middle school students on Friday at the Penticton courthouse.

“It was a lot more intense than I thought it would be, or what I have seen in movies,” said Rhylin Dobler, a Grade 8 student at Skaha Lake Middle School. “It is a lot different experience when you are actually standing in the court room in the middle of it all.”

Students took on roles of Crown counsel, defence lawyers, sheriffs, clerks, members of the jury, complainants and those charged with crimes. The juries in two trials found Star Wars character Luke Skywalker guilty for the deaths of those killed when he blew up the Death Star and Sneezy the wolf guilty of a break and enter into a little pig’s house made of brick. They opted for not guilty findings on huffing and puffing down the other little pig’s houses.

Fellow student Teagan Fehr agreed. In fact, she found the whole experience fun.

“I was doing the clerk’s job and it was so fun. It is definitely something I would consider making a career out of,” she added.

This was the first time lawyer Tyrone Duerr said he can recall of Penticton Crown counsel and members of the local bar co-ordinating a mock trial event for law day.

“A lot of people don’t exactly know what happens in a court room and we thought it was a great idea to come together and show students what the process is. It also gave them a chance to learn about the profession,” said Duerr.

Law Day, marked by projects and activities, taking place across the country, including lectures on the law, mock trials, courthouse tours, open citizenship courts and contests aimed at elementary and high school students, is meant to commemorate and educate the public about the legal system.

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