Feb 21 2010
This weekend I served as a scoring juror for one round of the high school mock trial competition sponsored by the NC Advocates for Justice. I saw only one round with two teams facing off. I don’t know where each team was from, or their individual circumstances. I have no idea of the back stories behind what I saw. But here’s what I do know:
The prosecution team was white. The defense team was black.
The prosecution team had 12 supporters cheering it on. The defense team had none.
The prosecution team wiped the floor with the defense team.
Again, I don’t know the back stories, nor from where each team came. What I do know is that my mother drove from PA to New Jersey to see my moot court competition, and would have driven to VA had I let her. What I do know is that the defense team looked lost, alone and frustrated in a world very far over its head and out of its grasp.
Was this a commentary on race? On parenting? On socioeconomic status? All of the above? I’m not sure, and I doubt I’ll ever be sure.
But I’m sure that the other jurors and the judge noticed it, too, and came to a similar conclusion: no one supports you … and it shows.