Conard Mock Trial Advances to Next Round After Wins Over Lewis Mills, Ridgefield  

By: Alexandra Bernstein-Naples

After months of tireless work and thorough preparation, the Conard Mock Trial Team competed in the first round of Civics First High School Mock Trial. Both Conard’s defense and prosecution presented arguments they crafted and perfected since October. In the morning, Conard’s prosecution competed against the defense of Lewis Mills High School. After hours of contentious debate and the full presentation and analysis of evidence the Judge presented a ruling in favor of Conard. The Prosecution was arguing on behalf of the State in an effort to Convict Wilbur Merritt IV of first degree murder. Their case theory synthesized a multitude of physical evidence and character depositions in order to both place Merritt at the crime scene, prove he was in close contact with the victim and even had his fingerprints on the murder weapon, and that he demonstrated the behavior patterns and motive necessary to commit first degree murder. On the other hand, the Conard Defense Team competed against Ridgefield High School’s prosecution. The debate was fierce and ended in a dead tie between the two teams, with the Judge complimenting the defense on their clever case theory, strong grasp of court proceedings, and knowledge of the facts of the case. Their case theory focused on illustrating the bias of the prosecution’s witnesses, emphasizing several inconsistencies in physical evidence and testimonies, and presenting a plausible alternative murderer in the case in order to demonstrate that the prosecution has failed to meet their burden of proof. Overall, the hard work of the Conard Mock Trial team paid off, as both teams will be advancing to the next round of competition and competing again at the end of February. 

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