Day with DA’s crew offers lessons in law

Elizabeth High students spend time with prosecutors, watch jury selection

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 2/24/20

Young people today spend a lot of their time looking at computer screens. Whether it’s looking at social media, playing video games, watching movies or even taking classes, much of what kids learn …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution of $25 or more in Nov. 2018-2019, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access Includes access to all websites


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Day with DA’s crew offers lessons in law

Elizabeth High students spend time with prosecutors, watch jury selection

Posted

Young people today spend a lot of their time looking at computer screens. Whether it’s looking at social media, playing video games, watching movies or even taking classes, much of what kids learn and experience is done electronically.

Fifteen students from Elizabeth High School recently stepped out of the electronic world and into the real world of a courtroom, when they visited the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to learn about criminal trial procedure. Students from John Loutzenhiser’s business law class spent the day observing jury selection for a DUI trial, asking questions and giving their input into the process.

“This is the first time we’ve taken them to the DA’s office,” said Loutzenhiser. “The key difference is they actually sat in on part of the trial, and you just can’t get that experience from sitting in a classroom. They saw the reality of life.”

Students started the day hearing from Amy Ferrin and John Kellner, chief deputy district attorneys, about their jobs, the court process and what to expect when attending a court room trial. DA George Brauchler explained more about the judicial district, then students were taken to a courtroom, where they saw firsthand how a jury is selected.

“I think most of the students had a general knowledge about jury duty, but were able to see how a jury was actually selected,” said Loutzenhiser. “Judge Cutler was very candid about how serious jury duty is, and told the kids: `In our society we don’t ask you, as citizens, to do much. Pay taxes and once in a blue moon show up for jury duty.’”

During lunch, students were able to interact with the attorneys and ask questions about what they had seen.

“These were a really bright group of kids who were thoughtful about what they saw, and asked good questions about the process and procedures,” said Ferrin. “They wanted to know more about where the judge got the information read to them, and why jurors were told certain things.”

Students inquired about the nature of the charges, and what evidence the prosecution might be expected to bring to the stand, and discussed the concept of admissible evidence, and whether it was better to put a witness on the stand or submit a report from a witness.

“I think it was very beneficial for the students to spend time in a courtroom,” said Loutzenhiser.”One of the main reactions I got was from four or five kids who really liked it and decided pursuing a career in law is what they want to do.”

Ferrin said they enjoyed having the students in the court room, and hope to have more students visit the DA’s office in the future.

“We would like to have more schools and programs take advantage of this opportunity. This was a fantastic experience for us,” said Ferrin. “To come in and understand this amazing system we have that lets not a single person or a judge decide if the prosecution proved their guilt.”

Those interested in bringing groups to the DA’s office can send an email through the website at www.da18.org.

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.