Criminal Law: Use of force, free expression, and hate crimes
This case involves a private security guard whose actions during an alleged break-in at a research laboratory raise issues about use of force, freedom of expression, and the elements of a hate crime. In an optional pretrial motion based on the First and Fourteenth Amendments, students can argue the constitutionality of a hypothetical community's ordinance governing racist expression.
Mock trials developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation include the facts of a hypothetical case, witness statements, relevant legal authorities, complete trial instructions, and procedural guidelines. Each also contains an optional pretrial motion designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of constitutional issues related to the criminal trial process.
Mock trials at this grade level are not scripts, but rather give a set of facts and allow witnesses and lawyers to create testimony and questioning consistent with the facts. They typically have about eight speaking parts. They can usually be presented in one class period or adapted to be presented in that period, but most could take more time if it were available. These mock trials are suggested for use with students in grades 7-12.
Please see our full listing of mock trials for more.