July 17, 2003 Eleven V.I. Department of Justice prosecutors participated in a 10-day intensive Criminal Trial Advocacy course focusing on developing their advocacy skills through lectures, workshops and a moot court case.
The course was sponsored by the local and U.S. Justice Departments, the Office of Legal Education and the Office of the U.S. Attorney. It ran from July 8 to 17 at the Almeric L. Christian Federal Building and Courthouse on St. Croix.
Experienced Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Assistant Attorneys General from the V.I. were the instructors.
Prosecutors participated in a mock drug conspiracy trial in District Court. In two independently running courtrooms, proceedings were judged by a jury of ninth-, 10th- and 11th-grade students from Central High School, Educational Complex and Seventh Day Adventist School.
Chief Judge Raymond L. Finch and Magistrate Judges Jeffrey L. Resnick and Geoffrey W. Barnard presided over the proceedings, instructing the student jurors on the laws before they went into deliberation and rendered their verdicts..
United States Attorney David M. Nissman expressed appreciation to Territorial Court Presiding Judge Maria M. Cabret and to the other judiciary members, staff and students who contributed to the success of the training.
Nissman also thanked the principals from the participating schools. He said that the students had the unique opportunity to not only see how the criminal justice system worked but to also participate in the process.
Each student will receive community service hours for their participation.
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