Over a year ago, the Alabama Supreme Court suspended all jury trials because of COVID-19. However, as the world reopens and goes back to normal, these trials have resumed.
Fourteen Escambia County seniors were sworn in as jurors as part of the 2021 Law Day program as part of the first jury trial since courts reopened. Keep reading to learn more about this honor and what it means for the youth of the City of Atmore.
What Is Law Day?
Back in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed Law Day to be a national day of dedication to the principles of our government and law. Now, every year on May 1, Americans celebrate the judicial system and the rule of law. This day provides an opportunity to educate individuals on law, the legal process as a whole, and how they protect our liberties.
Each year, a theme is chosen based on a specific principle or aspect of the legal process. From there, the idea is to discuss how it impacts the daily life of Americans. The 2021 Law Day theme was “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.” Its focus was to study how the United States operates within the landscape of international law. Different groups, organizations, and schools from across the country participate every year by planning unique events.
How Does Escambia County Participate?
Because education is important to Escambia County, Law Day is celebrated annually with local seniors. Since Escambia County got involved with Law Day more than 40 years ago, over 20,000 students have been lucky enough to participate in this renowned program.
During the 2021 Escambia County Law Day, students gain hands-on experience and education about the American judicial system by serving as jurors on real court cases. They hear from local lawyers and judges on the nature of law and how it impacts daily life.
As the seniors served on the jury of an actual court case, they got to experience the real-world consequences of the judicial system. They heard a case about a local man who was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, having an open container, and failing to wear a seatbelt. The jury found him guilty on all charges.
This is an invaluable opportunity for Escambia County high school students to gain a deeper understanding of the American legal system.