Tri-City Ledger -

By Gretchen McPherson
Ledger Staff 

Students issue mistrial, find other defendant not guilty


May 10, 2018

Students from several schools in Escambia County (Ala.) schools got to both witness and participate in our justice system in action last Thursday, May 3, and Friday, May 4, as they filled the Escambia County courthouse in Brewton as jurors and audience during real trials on both days. The theme this year was Separation of Powers (judicial, executive and legislative).

Seniors from Atmore Christian, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High and Precept Christian Schools came Thursday, May 3, to hear the Honorable Charles Price, retired Circuit Judge of Montgomery County, Ala. Speak. Students got to serve as jurors to hear the case of State of Alabama versus Bethanie Ward for charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The outcome was that there was no verdict in the case, as it was deemed a mistrial.

On Friday, May 4, seniors from W.S. Neal High, Flomaton High and Cornerstone Christian Schools got to hear guest speaker and retired Alabama Supreme Court Justice Champ Lyons, Jr. speak on the separation of powers and witness the case of State of Alabama versus Joseph Cameron Paul for charges of reckless endangerment, reckless driving and driving at a not reasonable and prudent speed. Paul was found not guilty by a jury of his peers in this case.

In both cases, student jurors who were selected by their respective school staff, deliberated and delivered a verdict which will be upheld.

On Friday, the Alabama Bar Association recognized Atmore Attorney Charles Godwin for the 40 years he has worked to make Law Day for Escambia County students a reality.

Godwin works during the year, inviting guest speakers, schools, participating attorneys and others to participate so that students in this area are exposed to this unique experience.


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