Defendant was found guilty of second degree murder

“Real, Raw, and Uncut” shows audience what a real jury court is


Melissa O'Gara

Senior Dalia Saklaway is sitting in the witness stand to share her side of the story of her case playing as an expert witness

Leslie Chung, Yearbook Section Editor

The “Real, Raw, and Uncut” event, hosted by the Mock Trial Club, ended with Casy Davidson, the defendant, being convicted of second degree murder of Alex Thompsen. Students who participated from the first semester competition showed through this event what the students do when they compete in the Constitutional Rights Foundation program.

The “Real, Raw, and Uncut” performance was the first major event Mock Trial has done for second semester since 2014. The event required much effort from the students, teacher/advisor Melissa O’Gara and Judge Michael O’Gara. “The hardest thing about making this happen was trying to recruit other individuals because some had left after not contacting them for a long time,” said club President Areni Markarian

Mr. O’Gara is a full time judge in a criminal court, and he has been the attorney coach for the Mock Trial Club for nearly 20 years. Because of his experience in a real court, the audience was able to learn what an actual jury trial is like.

The event was held from 7-9 p.m., and the students fought for or against whether or not Davidson should be convicted with first degree murder. The students had three weeks to prepare for the case.

Melissa O’Gara
Junior Hamlet Avetisyan swears in senior Dalia Saklaway before Saklaway goes to the witness stand.

Most of the students tried out a new role to gain a better understanding of their partner or a new role. If they were a lawyer, this time they tried out to be a witness and vice versa.

“The hardest part was remembering the witness statement because I had to constantly read the lines very carefully,” said freshman David Abramyan. “I felt great afterwards because I thought I was not going to do well being the defendant of the case this time.”

“I had a chance to take other roles other than pretrial and a chance to interact with the witness,” said junior Abdullah Hasan. “Since it was my first time, I was unsure on how to do the objections and responding to the judge was also difficult.”

The program was open to anyone interested in law and the jury court system. Students, parents and teachers were able to attend this night for $5. The proceeds from the event went towards the club’s expenses.

Math teacher Amir Ghavam attended this event and watched the students argue and work together during the case. “I thought it was great, and it felt like I was in a real courtroom,” Ghavam said. “I appreciated that the students took it seriously and professionally, and that the rest of the jurors were intensive and were taking it seriously.”

The night ended with the defendant was found guilty of second degree murder. “The best part of the night was to see the grateful smiles on the parents’ faces as they watched their kid doing their best presenting in front of a real judge,” said club vice president Susanna Saratikyan.