The Grandview Heights High School Mock Trial Team is advancing to regional competition after winning two trials at the district competition on January 28, 2021. Their case was titled "State of Buckeye v. Micah Opessa." Below is the case synopsis.
Inspired in part by the New York Times Best Seller Charged by Emily Bazelon, the 2021 Ohio Mock Trial case takes an inside look at the justice system by examining what prosecutors are required to disclose during plea negotiations. In 2019, Micah Opessa pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of a former best-friend, Haumea Robins. A year into their sentence, Micah found out the eyewitness who saw Micah fleeing the crime recanted their testimony. Now, Micah has filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, claiming the prosecutor violated their constitutional rights when they knowingly withheld this information when they offered Micah a plea deal. The Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland requires the prosecution to overturn exculpatory evidence during trial. In this Mock Trial case, students agued whether this precedent also applies to plea negotiations.
The GHHS Mock Trial Team argued for the State of Buckeye in one case and argued on behalf of Opessa in the second case. Everyone performed admirably, especially considering the pandemic circumstances. Zoom competition is very different from the traditional courtroom atmosphere.
Mock Trial Team Members include: Emily Rutter (12), Stephanie Kramer (12), Ella Stevens (12), Maria Sipes (11), Marco Brunette (11), Tyler Schmied (11), Ali Hamm (10); Advisor is Evan Smith.