Quatez Scott, Staff Writer
“All rise, court is now in session.” These will be the words that seven Wilmington College students will hear from January 26 until February 7, as the Mock Trial team travels to Dubuque, Iowa to compete against 70 other colleges and universities. Mock trial offers high school and college students the opportunity to act out a real court case, in which they will try to convince the jury of their peers, using collected information and clues to determine a verdict. This trip will mark the first of the semester for this group of students, including: Victoria Canby, Catherine (Katie) Wisecup, Lauren Asher, Jordan Powers Kepperling, Zach Stevens; co-captains Jamie Crane and Carly Freemen. For Crane, this will be her first trip as one of the captains.
“It can be a lot of pressure sometimes when going into a trial. The captains are the ones that have the responsibility to keep everything inline before the trial,” said Crane, also a freshmen on campus.
Before each institution heads in to this all-week event, they have all studied the case; Dawson v. the State of the Midlands. In this case profile, Vanessa Sullivan goes to celebrate her 21st birthday with her friends Taylor and Dawson at a bar. Days before they go out, Dawson is told that he may possibly have to be the designated driver. Dawson goes to the bar around 2 pm the day of Vanessa’s 21st birthday and starts drinking. He figures that he has plenty of time to sober up. Later, he thinks he hears that Taylor, Vanessa’s other friend is going to be the designated driver so he drinks more. Eventually, Dawson attempts to be the designated driver, but becomes involved in an auto-accident. In that accident, Vanessa is killed and Dawson is charged with a DUI and murder. Now, it is up to student groups to argue both sides of the case.
Katie Wisecup, another freshmen on the team said “It’s not a matter of ‘is she or isn’t she guilty?’ or arguing until everyone is blue in the face. [Mock trial] is about convincing the judge and jury that your prosecution/ defense team is right and the other team is wrong.”