Tucson’s Sahuaro High School Takes Top Honors at State Mock Trial Tournament

March 25, 2003
Contact: Mira Radovich, Communications (602)340-7293
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 25, 2003) - Students from Tucson’s Sahuaro High School (red team) will represent Arizona in the National High School Mock Trial Tournament, in which students demonstrate their knowledge of the judicial process and a courtroom trial. On Saturday, the Sahuaro High School team took top honors for the second straight year. The competition is sponsored and administered by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Arizona and the Young Lawyers of Arizona.

Students from 18 Arizona high school teams prepared for the competition by studying the legal system, including what roles judges, lawyers, bailiffs, juries, and witnesses play in the system, the rules of evidence and proper courtroom decorum. During the tournament, the teams prepared the prosecution and defense sides of a case for a simulated courtroom trial. Judges determine the winning team based on the merits of the case and performance of the students.

This year’s hypothetical case focused on what sentence should be given to a teenager convicted of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. As charged, under Arizona law, the 17-year-old faced a mandatory prison sentence of 5-15 years. Arizona law requires that the teenager be treated as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime committed, even though underage at the time.

Sahuaro High School’s silver team finished second, University High School in Tucson finished third, and Mountain Ridge High School from Glendale finished fourth. The Sahuaro High School red team will represent Arizona at the national competition May 8-10 in New Orleans.

Several students received special recognition by the judges for their outstanding performance at the mock trial competition. They include:


· Bailey Williams, Arizona School for the Arts (Phoenix)
· Jamie Giovannini and Rachel Katz, Chaparral High School (Scottsdale)
· Melissa Turner, Deer Valley High School (Glendale)
· Amy Kimbel, Desert Mountain High School (Scottsdale)
· Alex Marnard, Northland Preparatory Academy (Flagstaff)

About the Foundation
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education plays a leading role in preparing Arizona students for civic responsibility. The Foundation educates more than 100,000 children by training teachers, school resource officers and probation officers about our laws, justice system and the foundations of democracy. It is also the home of www.lawforkids.com, America’s first Web site dedicated to teaching students about the law. The Foundation also grants funds to non-profit organizations that provide free legal assistance to the poor so all people in Arizona can have a voice in our justice system.