Little Pig found not guilty of murder
April 29, 2010
The scene in the courtroom was tense as Little Pig pleaded for her life. In the end, the students of Wheeler Elementary and 1st Sgt. Samuel K. Solomon Jr. Elementary Schools found her not guilty.
As part of Law Day, the 25th Infantry Division Staff Judge Advocate held a mock trial, "Big Bad Wolf vs. Little Pig," at Wheeler Elementary and 1st Sgt. Samuel K. Solomon Jr. Elementary Schools April 27 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Law Day, a national holiday that occurs May 1 every year, celebrates the rule of law and the history of the judicial system in the United States.
The defendant and the plaintiff of the mock trial were based on the characters Little Pig and Big Bad Wolf from the children's book, 'Three Little Pigs,' to familiarize the students with the case and the military court martial system.
"It was a good way to be able to take something from their childhood and connect it to real life that we do generally as an attorney and what we do specifically in Judge Advocate General," said Capt. Victoria Starks, administrative law attorney, and Little Pig's character in the trial.
Little Pig, the defendant, was on trial accused of trying to intentionally boil and cook Big Bad Wolf, the plaintiff. The trial counsel and defense counsel presented their cases to the judge and a panel of students chosen from the schools to act as jurors.
"Our intention is to show them how the military court system works, and to actually give the kids the chance to be a part of that justice system. It is to get them involved in the trial, listen to the story of both parties of the trial and decide for themselves if the defendant is guilty or not," said Capt. Faith Coutier, operational law attorney, the judge at the trial.
The panel of students was asked to listen to the plaintiff's, the defendant's and the witness's testimony of the events leading up to the day Little Pig allegedly committed attempted murder.
Then they were asked to leave the room and deliberate on who was telling the truth, and if Little Pig was innocent or not. After deliberation, the students found Little Pig not guilty.
"It is so interesting to see how their minds work and how they pick up on the details," said Coutier.
"It's like a civics lesson. This trial was to make them think about the law and the judicial system," said Sgt. 1st Class Dean Neighbors, chief paralegal noncommissioned officer, and the Big Bad Wolf character in the trial. "And hopefully, that will make them think about the government, being able to participate in the government, having a say-so as a community member, and getting involved in the community."