Uploaded by Nicole Abley

Mock Trial

“Oedipus Rex” Mock Trial
The Scenario:
Despite Oedipus’ decree regarding the murderer of King Laius, King Creon and the Theban people have
decided to hold a trial to ensure Oedipus really deserves banishment because at the time he did not know he
was actually murdering the King of Thebes. Judge Mayfield will preside over the upcoming trial.
The following will be present at the trial for each group:
Judge Mayfield
Defense attorney, co-counsel, and witnesses
Prosecuting attorney, co-counsel, and witnesses
the jury (your peers)
Groups Decide:
Who will be your witnesses (what characters in the play)?
What physical evidence can you produce? Any potentially damaging testimonies?
What kind of penalty are you trying for (banishment, house arrest, death, freedom)?
Group Roles:
Attorney- Responsible for questioning witnesses and the accused and working with counsel to gather
Co-counsel – Responsible for gathering evidence and testimonies and advising attorney
Witnesses – Will take on roles of characters in the play and will work with attorney to locate evidence
you will verbally give to the jury
Jury of your peers - Must be able to recount both the defense and the prosecuting attorneys’
arguments in order to reach a verdict
Each person in your group MUST have a significant role in the trial.
Defense and Prosecution may not have the same witnesses (you will have the chance to cross
examine)..……meaning, you must speak with members of the opposition to figure out which witnesses
you will be putting on the stand. The first thing that you need to decide and discuss with the other
group is the names of the witnesses you will be using. Reach a consensus!
The courtroom scene MUST demonstrate a thorough understanding of the play from which the
characters are drawn. You may deviate slightly from the play (for example, perhaps you locate a piece
of evidence not mentioned in the play), as long as your changes are credible.
The trial MUST include direct references to the play—for example, have characters give direct quotes
that they gave in the book, use descriptions of scenes in the book, etc. (textual evidence!)
Creativity counts!! You have the liberty of putting words in the characters’ mouths, but again,
everything should be credible (meaning the thought behind the words/actions is clearly found in the
Each group will have 35 minutes to conduct their court room proceedings.
Individual & Groups Roles in a Trial:
Prosecuting Attorney: Begins the trial. In the complaint, the PA gives the court the reason why the person on
trial (Oedipus) is being tried and gives a summary of the crime that was committed. He or she will give
evidence of why the defendant is guilty and will introduce witnesses to defend his case.
Defendant: The defendant is the individual on trial. In this trial, the defendant is Oedipus and is represented
by the defense attorney.
Defense Attorney: This person will give evidence as to why the defendant is not guilty and will dispute any
allegations made by the PA.
Co-counsel: These people assist either the PA or DA. They may question witnesses and even cross examine.
They typically do not give opening or closing statements.
The Judge: The judge decides which disputed facts (evidence), may be presented to the jury. In this trial, your
teacher will act as the judge.
The Jury: The jury is usually a group of ordinary citizens selected to decide the verdict.
Witnesses: Witnesses must have specific knowledge of what happened in the play and be able to recount
specific events and characters to help the jury understand complex evidence.
Order of Proceedings:
1. Greeting/welcome by judge
2. Judge gives a brief description of the case.
3. Prosecution's opening statement [2-3 min]
4. Defense's opening statement [2-3 min]
5. Prosecution's 1st witness to witness box, and the judge swears him/her in
6. Prosecution examination of witness [4-7 min]
7. Defense cross examination [4-7 min]
8. Repeat if requested with Prosecution’s second and third witness
9. Witness steps down
10. Defense’s 1st witness to witness box, and the judge swears him/her in
11. Defense examination of witness [4-7 min]
12. Prosecution cross examination [4-7 min]
13. Repeat if requested with Defense’s second and third witness
14. Prosecution closing argument [2-3 min]
15. Defense closing argument [2-3 min]
16. Groups leave classroom, jury decides verdict [5 min]
17. Judge gives sentence