PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 12, 2010 – Thirteen Philadelphia PAL youngsters had the chance to seek justice (and learn about the judicial process) by participating in a mock trial on Thursday, August 12, at the Cozen PAL Center (732 N. 17th Street). PAL Board Member and attorney Gino Benedetti from Dilworth Paxson LLP, led the girls and boys in determining the verdict of a man charged with breaking and entering, theft and assault.
The youngsters, ages 12-17, had four weeks to prepare their arguments. On Thursday, the youth had the opportunity to participate in jury selection, opening/closing statements, witness testimonies, jury deliberations and a verdict. PAL's youth come from neighborhoods notorious for crime. For many of the girls and boys, Thursday's mock trial reflects events that occur in their neighborhoods with alarming frequency. The Mock Trial format introduced youngsters to an occupation they may not otherwise be exposed to and helped foster a passion to pursue a career in law.