It was a make-believe case that could have been real.
The local mayor's son is accused of perpetrating a felony hit-and-run -- while texting to boot!
Lawyers for the well-connected teen argue that he wasn't behind the wheel at the time. They also argue that police failed to question the defendant properly, raising constitutional issues that should get the matter thrown out of court.
In the spirit of learning, teams from 12 local high schools argued that very case in a mock trial competition won last week by Moreau Catholic High.
Moreau beat out American High School in Fremont to become Alameda County's entry in the statewide mock trial competition to be held in Riverside on March 22.
The other local competitors were:
- San Lorenzo High School (San Lorenzo)
- KIPP King Collegiate High School (San Lorenzo)
- COIL Charter School (Fremont)
- Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton)
- Bishop O'Dowd High School (Oakland)
- East Bay Arts High School (Hayward)
- Granada High School (Livermore Valley)
- Oakland Tech High School (Oakland)
- Skyline High School (Oakland)
- Piedmont High School (Piedmont)
According to a list of winners and runners up dating back to 1982, no Alameda County school has ever come in first in the statewide finals. Only three times have local schools placed second: Piemont High was runner up in 2008 and 2003, and Berkeley High placed similarly in 1982.
The issue in the mock trial argued before Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay was narrowly framed: should the case come to trial if police failed to read the make-believe defendant his Miranda rights.
What's your take? Is Justice blind or does she play favorites? Would a case like this have gotten constitutional attention if the "mayor's son" wasn't involved? Can you think of real life parallels?