JMS 8th Graders Hold a Court Trial

Jasper Middle

By: Rose Finney 8th Grader at JMS

Recently, eighth graders in the JMS Learning Academy program reenacted the 1988 Supreme Court case of California vs. Greenwood. Greenwood had been convicted of illegal drug possession. However, for the police to receive a search warrant, they used evidence found from searching his garbage. Greenwood argued that it was unconstitutional for the police to have searched through his trash, while law enforcement stated that he had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Students prepared by researching information about the trial and working in their groups to share thoughts and write arguments.

    The reenactment began when the Supreme Court Justices, played by students, entered the room. Then, the students selected to represent the lawyers gave their opening statements. Next, came the meat of the case – the arguments. The defense argued that people could not see into the trash bags and that the trash was Greenwood’s until he gave it to the trash collector, while the prosecution argued that an animal could have easily torn the bags apart and that Greenwood willingly gave up his garbage when he left it out on the curb. In the end, the Justices decided in favor of the prosecution with a 7-2 vote. The case was closed by Sadie Phillips, who played the role of Chief Justice. The students enjoyed the hands-on activity as a boost to their studies of law and court proceedings. A huge thank you to Anda Olsen for her hard work and dedication to the Learning Academy at Jasper Middle School.

JMS students

From left to right, the students in the picture are: Peyton Johnson, Layne Wendt, Michayla Pickett, Jada Cline, Brett Menard, Colton Smith, Seth Densmore, Matthew Campbell and Sadie Phillips.

JMS author of trial

Rose Finney

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