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Students Get Their Day in Court

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Students Get Their Day in Court

On Feb. 17, 14 students from Cedarville University visited the Supreme Court of Ohio to witness court proceedings, take a tour of the facility and have a question and answer session with Justice Robert R. Cupp. Photo courtesy of the Supreme Court of Ohio

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

February 27, 2009

Cedarville, Ohio—Field trips have long been a part of the educational process, but few students have heard arguments in a death penalty court case. Regardless, that’s exactly what 14 students from Cedarville University did on Feb 17 at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

As members of Alpha Delta Nu, a criminal justice organization, the 14 students observed oral arguments of criminal appeals before the Supreme Court of Ohio.

The trip allowed students to examine a relatively obscure part of the criminal justice process. Robert Vaughn, assistant professor of criminal justice, says, “Most televised court proceedings are of the trial. Many people are unaware of the nature and workings of the appeals court, especially at the Supreme Court level. This trip allowed students to observe those proceedings first hand, including one argument in a death penalty case.”

Justice Robert R. Cupp addressed the students following the closing arguments. The students also received a brief tour of the court’s security control room and learned about its internal security procedures.

“In all, the day offered a glimpse of the criminal justice system that most people never see,” says Vaughn, “which will enable them to have a better understanding and appreciation for the field in which they will soon be working.”

Tara Leaman, a junior criminal justice major, adds, “Visiting the Supreme Court opened my eyes to the importance of recording the facts of a situation as accurately as I can. It also revealed how testifying truthfully in a situation can bring justice to individuals.”

“Most importantly, these experiences allow us to examine ourselves,” says Shaun Cookson, a senior criminal justice major. “People go into different careers for different reasons, but having the ability to ‘test drive’ our career while in college really helps me understand more about myself and why I want to go into criminal justice.”