Cobb County fourth-graders practice their legal skills in mock trial

photo of Cobb Superior Court building from the front with a blue sky with clouds in the background

A large group of fourth-graders from East Side Elementary School practiced their legal skills in a scripted mock trial in Cobb County Superior Court on Friday, February 9. The events, which will be held periodically during the year, are called “Courtroom to Classroom.”

According to the court’s news release, “The event aimed to educate students about the intricacies of the legal system through an engaging mock trial experience.”

Superior Court judges Jason D. Marbutt, Kellie S. Hill, and Henry R. Thompson, alongside State Court judge Jaret Usher, guided the students through a scripted mock trial in which a young jury determined the guilt or innocence of an alleged bicycle thief, “Jaime Joyride,” who was charged with stealing from a local store.

Judge Marbutt said, “I love having the opportunity to teach kids about our jury system and due process. I was impressed with how seriously the kid jurors took their job!”

The news release stated:

Following the mock trial, the students had the privilege of engaging with representatives from the Cobb Sheriff’s Office’s Community Engagement Unit and meeting K-9 officers Rose and Boomer, along with their handlers, Angela and Deputy Jacob Long, respectively. These officers provided valuable insights into their roles within the community and showcased tools used to ensure public safety, including bicycle and trike patrol units.

Judge Henry R. Thompson said, “I think it is the duty of all public servants to participate in community outreach programs whenever feasible.”

The Cobb County Superior Court will hosting more mock trials throughout the 2023-24 school year to teach fourth- and fifth-grade groups about our trial courts.

What is Cobb County Superior Court?

In Georgia, the Superior Court is one of three trial courts found in each judicial circuit.  The other two trial courts are State Courts and Probate Courts.

If you watch TV or movie courtroom dramas you’ll be familiar with the most high-profile role of the court. Superior Court in Georgia would be the court where a murder trial would be conducted.

So Superior Court conducts felony trials.

But it also handles a number of other types of case.

The Georgia Superior Courts website describes the varied functions as follows:

The Superior Courts of Georgia is a court of general jurisdiction handling both civil and criminal law actions. Superior Court Judges preside over cases involving misdemeanors, contract disputes, premises liability, and various other actions. In addition, the Superior Court has exclusive equity jurisdiction over all cases of divorce, title to land, and felonies involving jury trials, including death penalty cases.