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American Government Students Experience Democracy in Action

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American Government students were able to gain first-hand experience of democracy in action by participating in a recent field trip to the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
Included in photo are (L- R): Justice Ira J. Raab, Cheryl Bland, Christian Londono, Circuit Court Judge Karen Miller, Amy Martinez, Philip Bayless, Juan Arenas Cordoba and Alisha Campbell.

Included in photo are (L- R): Justice Ira J. Raab, Cheryl Bland, Christian Londono, Circuit Court Judge Karen Miller, Amy Martinez, Philip Bayless, Juan Arenas Cordoba and Alisha Campbell.

December 6, 2012

American Government students were able to gain first-hand experience of democracy in action by participating in a recent field trip to the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Led by American Government professor Ira Raab, the group first witnessed the Judicial Branch of government in action as they visited the Courtroom of County Court Judge Peter Evans. Seated in the jury box, they observed arraignments, assignment of counsel for indigent defendants, the presentation of written charges to defendants, pleas, sentences, assignments to programs, motions and more.

They then visited the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Charles Burton where they witnessed the jury selection (voir dire) process of a felony case. Continuing to Court Judge Marni Bryson's chambers they had the opportunity to witness a case involving an assault and battery in which they heard the entire testimony of the defendant and her witness, the judge's charge to the jury, and summations by the State Attorney and the Public Defender. After the jury was sent out to deliberate, the group conferred with the Public Defender and expressed their impression of his case and how they would have ruled, had they served on the jury.

The trip culminated with a visit to the 100 year-old County Courthouse.

Included in photo are (L- R): Justice Ira J. Raab, Cheryl Bland, Christian Londono, Circuit Court Judge Karen Miller, Amy Martinez, Philip Bayless, Juan Arenas Cordoba and Alisha Campbell.