Schools to argue criminal case in 16th annual Mock Trial

A total of seven schools will be competing in this year’s 16th CNMI High School Mock Trial competition this Friday at the Guma Hustisia. Friday’s competition will commence at 8:30am and will end with the championship round, tentatively set to begin at 4:30pm.

Participating schools include Marianas High School, Mount Carmel School, Rota’s Dr. Rita H. Inos High School, Marianas Baptist Academy, Kagman High School, Saipan Southern High School, and Tinian High School.

The Mock Trial is a project coordinated by the CNMI Bar Association and this year‘s case problem is a fictitious criminal case, Commonwealth v. Erin Napu. The case, adapted from materials provided by the Center for Civic Values, Albuquerque, New Mexico, takes place in the village of San Pedro in Anatahan County.

The hypothetical case involves Erin Napu who is charged with first degree murder of her husband, JR Satdinas. Napu raised a defense that she was a battered woman and was trying to protect herself from her husband.

Saipan Southern High School senior and mock trial member Katrina Cruz told Saipan Tribune that her team practiced almost every day of the week since the topic was released.
“I feel nervous and scared but I am ready to compete against other school’s teams. I also really like the case this year and it has been fun analyzing it and understanding how the law plays into it,” she said.
Students will portray the role of attorneys and witnesses and will deliver arguments representing both sides of the case.

Superior and Supreme Court justices will preside over the student trials and local attorneys will serve as jurors and evaluators.

According to the CNMI Bar Association’s website, students will be judged based on their knowledge of the evidence and ability to present a logical and persuasive case.

Thomas Manglona II | Correspondent

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