Saturday, 26 May 2018

Quest to watch a mock murder trial

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood
Have you ever wanted to attend a trial to see what happens at court? A two-day mock murder trial took place in my hometown this week, and members of the public could watch the proceedings from the public gallery.

What particularly piqued my interest was the fact the trial was based around the plot of an award-winning novel I'd read. The YA book is "Infinite Sky" by author C.J. Flood, who attended and tweeted live at the trial. How cool is that? I wonder if it's a world first to have a book brought to life in such a dramatic fashion!

I was briefly able to attend for part of the summation before the jury retired to consider their verdict. When the Crown Court Judge entered the mock courtroom after lunch, everyone had to rise and couldn’t sit down again until he was seated. The prosecution were up first, and the barrister’s emphatic, confident delivery could easily persuade you of the defendant’s guilt. In contrast, the defence was quieter and more measured, and I wondered whether the theatrics from the prosecution would prove just as instrumental in helping the jury reach a verdict as the evidence itself.

The 'murder' weapon – a brick – was passed around to the jury, and the prosecution suggested the injuries sustained by the victim were too excessive to be self-defence by the defendant. It wasn't looking too hopeful for him at that point.

Sadly, I had to leave before the verdict was reached, but the trial was filmed for teaching purposes, and I hope it’s made available so I can catch up with all that I missed!

I contacted C.J. Flood after the trial, and she said, “It was so much fun seeing my characters come to life...”

Kudos to all who took part.

The bar has now been raised for YA writers. Film deal? Pah, that’s nothing compared to having a mock court case for your book. 😃

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