Harry Potter will face life in prison after being found guilty of the second degree murder of Professor Quirrell.
The jury of Princess Margaret Grade 12 students found Potter guilty of all charges after brief deliberations, and the dismissal of two jurors after it was discovered they were dating.
The mock trial of Potter was part of a celebration of Law Week put on by Provincial Crown Counsel and members of the local bar association. Law Week is a national event held annually in April celebrating Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“It was spectacular,” said Lutsha Bata, Grade 12 student and Crown counsel for a day.
Bata’s case was bold, and he submitted that Potter serve 700 hours community service while being forced to listen to One Direction the entire time, though the judge saw that as too severe and knocked it down to Celiene Dion.
Bata has been accepted to the University of British Columbia Vancouver and is heading off to study law next fall.
“My dad was is a lawyer and my stepdad was a lawyer for a bit of a stint,” Bata said.
“It sparked the interest in me because we have sort of a legal background to a certain degree.”
Bata said he enjoyed the back and forth of the mock court proceedings.
“Cross examining was also fun because I like debating as well in school. I also get that feeling from debate where I can cross examine and state my side and with the objections and all that, it’s just a wonderful experience,” Bata said. “I’d be happy to do it again any day.”
While the defence counsel didn’t get the best sentence for their client, Princess Margaret valedictorian Quinn Campbell enjoyed the trial.
“It was really fun, I’m really glad I did it,” Campbell said.
She too wants to pursue law after attending the University of Calgary for business.
“I find it very interesting. My grandfather was a judge and I have a cousin that’s a lawyer,” Campbell said.
Though it may not have been in the best interest of her client, the guilty verdict was more educational.
“It’s all for fun and I’m kind of glad that they chose guilty just because then we got to be able to see the process and what they ended up charging him with,” Campbell said.
Penticton lawyer Paul Varga who is with Pearce Taylor Schneiderat, acted as co-counsel for Potter. Varga feels these events are helpful for students whether or not they are pursuing a future in law.
“It’s important for them (students) to see what’s involved,” Varga said.
“Some of them may go on to law school or seek one in the future and that’s great. Even if they don’t at least this process, this building, this room is demystified for them so they can know they have some security and can bring their problems here if they can’t resolve them themselves,” Varga said.
Deb Drissell, Deputy Regional Crown for the Okanagan, has been organizing the Law Day event for the past two years. She said that it’s not only the students who look forward to the event.
“It’s a time to have fun and a lot of our jobs are serious of course, and to have fun with the kids,” Drissell said.
She said it’s still under wraps who next year’s culprit is going to be.
Princess Margaret teacher and former lawyer Trevor Robinson teaches the students that attended the mock trial in an elective law class. He said much of the work to put on the day’s event was done by the local bar association.
“All I’m doing is bringing the students,” Robinson laughed.
“We try to make it a course where the kids have fun and get to participate in opportunities like this,” Robinson said. “They have a chance to come down to the courthouse, see a real courtroom, interact with actual lawyers and sheriffs, and I think that’s part of what makes Law 12 a interesting course for the kids.”
Potter wasn’t the only famous character on trial at the Penticton Courthouse. Sneezy the Wolf was on trial in the afternoon for huffing, puffing and blowing the houses of the Three Little Pigs down.