As the Perrysburg Mock Trial Club enters its 20th year of competition, the members met at Woodland Park recently to elect Club Officers for the coming year. The members elected Hannan Sjah, President; Ysebella Aromas, Vice president; Andrew Chung, Recording Secretary; Evan Leong, Corresponding Secretary; Jerrick Ban, Treasurer and Bella Delgado, Historian.
Other members of the club include: Jerrick Ban, Ryan Bisnett, Abigail Bunting, Matilda Dalton, Aditya Gupta, Carter Harold, Maggie Merriman, Jack Lamberger, Evan Leong, Nikhil Methi, Daniel Mills, Claire Schroder, Avery Thompson, Jack Thompson, Sri Vuppala, Mia Wegener and Mira Zarobinski.
The competition this year will be held in a virtual format with a possibility of live state competition depending on the COVID-19 situation.
This year’s case is inspired in part by the New York Times Best Seller Charged? by Emily Bazelon. The 2021 Ohio Mock Trial case takes an inside look at the justice system by?examining what prosecutors are required to disclose during plea negotiations. In 2019, Micah Opessa pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of their former best friend, Haumea Robins. A year into their sentence, Micah found out the eyewitness who saw Micah fleeing the crime recanted their testimony. Now, Micah has filed?a motion to withdraw their guilty plea, claiming the prosecutor?violated their constitutional rights when they?knowingly withheld this information when they offered Micah a plea deal. The Supreme Court ruling in?Brady v. Maryland?requires the prosecution to overturn exculpatory evidence during trial. In this Mock Trial case, students will argue whether this precedent also applies to plea negotiations.
Ohio Mock Trial offers an innovative approach to learning the law and how our legal system functions. Guided by teachers and volunteer legal advisors, students participate in an original, unscripted simulated trial written by attorneys. Each year volunteer attorneys create an original case around a current constitutional issue important to students. Mock Trial teams work with an attorney or a judge to prepare their case – from both the plaintiff and defense perspectives.
The objectives of Mock Trial are to improve critical thinking, reading, writing, public speaking and listening skills; to develop an understanding and appreciation for the law, court procedures, and the judicial system; to understand constitutional rights and responsibilities and to recognize and reward students’ academic and intellectual achievements. New members are invited to join the club by contacting any member.
Assisting in this year’s competition are Dr. Beth Rohrbacher; Kent Riesen, Esq.; Mary Sue Barone, Esq.; Ted Kurt, Esq.; Bob Quick and retired Perrysburg Municipal Court Judge S. Dwight Osterud.