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Program Information
outFarpress presents
Regular Show
Youth Radio, Mendocino County, Mock Trial, Scapegoating The Youth, Blaming Youth
 Dan Roberts  Contact Contributor
YouthSpeaksOut! on "Mock Trial and Scapegoating The Youth." The hosts were from Laytonville High and are members of the Mock Trial team. This show has a call-in portion 59 minutes. Produced by Dan Roberts
Dear All,
Here are the links to stream or download today's YouthSpeaksOut! on "Mock Trial and Scapegoating The Youth." The hosts were from Laytonville High and are members of the Mock trial team. This show has a call-in portion It is worth a listen. You might want to tell a friend about it.
FurthuR! Dan
Our topics for today are Mock Trial and Scapegoating the Youth. We are members of the Laytonville High School mock trial team. Yesterday we competed in Ukiah at the county courthouse, along with teams from Charter Academy of the Redwoods, Developing Virtue Girls School, Fort Bragg High, Mendocino High, and Ukiah High. Each team is linked with an attorney coach, who helps the student attorneys and witnesses prepare a defense pretrial motion argument, opening and closing statements, witness questioning and response, and general courtroom etiquette. We are grateful to our teachers Mr. Potter and Ms. McHenry, along with our legal adviser Beth Norman. Members from all aspects of the local legal community, including judges, district attorneys, public defenders, alternate defenders, county counsel and and private practice attorneys volunteer their time to coach teams or score and officiate during the competitions. The County Mock Trial program is sponsored and coordinated by the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE).
The purpose of County Mock Trial competition is to give high school students the opportunity to experience the American judicial system first-hand. Student teams argue both sides of a fictitious case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the statewide coordinators of the event. This year student team members portrayed all key roles in the case People versus Shem, the trial of Evan Shem who is studying for a masters of fine arts degree at Hamiltonia University. Shem faces one felony count, theft by larceny, for the theft of Treason, a painting by Fletcher Yazoo. The pretrial issue in People versus Shem centers on the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure.
The last time YouthSpeaksOut! had Mock Trial as a topic, a listener called in and asked the hosts about the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. It is a non-profit legal organization that is committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people through the use of DNA testing, and to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. To date, the work of the Innocence Project has led to the freeing of 325 wrongfully convicted people, including 20 who served time on death row.
The wrongful convictions which the Innocence Project helped to overturn were not rare or isolated events. The leading causes of wrongful convictions were eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated or improper forensic sciences, false confessions and incriminating statements, and unreliable informant testimony. In homicide cases that were overturned, 62% had been coerced into giving false confessions so they could plead to a lesser charge.
The other topic we want to discuss today is Scapegoating the youth. In 1999 Mike Males wrote a book, Framing Youth: Ten Myths About the Next Generation. He pointed out that the percentage of teens committing serious crimes had actually dropped over the past twenty years. Today's teens are far less likely to use drugs or to die of drug-related causes than are people 30 years and older, and less likely to have kids out of wedlock. But they are far more likely to be associated with- and often blamed for- these social problems in newspapers, magazines and the evening news. School massacres, which get huge media coverage but are quite rare, give the impression that schools are dangerous places. Statistically schools are far safer than homes, where every year 2000 youth are murdered by parents in domestic violence. The author Males states that youth have been made into symbols for larger social problems, like poverty, substance abuse, and violence- and that adults have a duty to take responsibility for adult misbehaviors and quit blaming them on young people.
In 2006 psychologist Robert Epstein wrote a book, The Case Against Adolescence. In it he argues that teenagers are far more competent than we assume, and that most of their problems stem from the restrictions placed upon them. Epstein points out that our culture artificially extends childhood, primarily through our educational system and restrictions on labor. The age at which Americans reach adulthood is increasing "30 is the new 20 "and most Americans now believe a person isn't an adult until age 26. He argues that we completely isolate young people from adults and create a peer culture, keeping them from working in a meaningful way. In most non-industrialized societies, young people are integrated into adult society as soon as they are capable, and there is no sign of teen turmoil. Many cultures do not even have a term for adolescence. He provides statistics that teens are subjected to 10 times as many restrictions as mainstream adults, and twice as many as incarcerated felons. He advocates that teens be allowed to work, start businesses, marry, live on their own, and make their own decisions about health care. He says that teenagers are far more competent than we allow them to be, because of our institutionalized extended childhood.
We hope that you will consider these controversial notions about youth, and be willing to discuss them with us in about 30 minutes when we open the phone lines at 707 456-9991. We are going to start the show by talking about our experiences with mock trial. So Jordan, what roles did you play in yesterdays competition at the county courthouse in Ukiah?


We re going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 707 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we d especially like to encourage the youth, their parents, teachers, and concerned friends in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights on mock trial and framing the youth.
What do you think of the Mock Trial program? Have you ever been involved in them?
Do you think our judicial system is fair? Are there parts of our system that you would change? Do you know anything about the Innocence Project?
How have you learned about the way the courts work? Could you describe your experiences being on a jury?
Are youth unfairly blamed for societal problems? Are you nervous when you pass a group of young people on the street?
Would more punishment make the teenagers better citizens? Should youth ever be tried in court as adults?
What do you think of the idea that we are overextending childhood with mandatory school and labor restrictions on youth?
Would some youth be better off dropping out of school and developing skills in the work force? At what age do you accept youth as being truly adult?
Please call in and be part of this conversation. The phone number is 707 456-9991.

Broadcast Quality Download Program Podcast
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00:59:00 1 Feb. 1, 2015
Mendocino County, California
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 00:59:00  128Kbps mp3
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Quick Download/Slow-Modem Streaming Download Program Podcast
00:59:00 1 Feb. 1, 2015
Mendocino County, California
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 00:59:00  24Kbps mp3
(14MB) Mono
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