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2019-2020 Case Problem Teaser Released

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  • 2019-2020 Case Problem Teaser Released

    AMTA Released next year's criminal case teaser today. It looks to be a child kidnapping and murder case, which is a lot darker and more serious than cases in previous years. I'm curious to hear people's opinions and wild theories about it.

    Any thoughts on the case problem?

    Opinions on the subject?

    Theories about themes or witnesses?

  • #2
    I am so excited for this. Based on concept alone this has the potential to overtake Park v. Duran as the best case AMTA has ever made. And with how great Hendricks and Bancroft/Covington were, I have high hopes that the Criminal Case Committee can make an engaging and varied case with this great concept.

    I love the dramatic cases, and there's really nothing more dramatic and serious for mock trial than child murder. If the case is as interesting as it sounds like it will be, while maintaining a decent level of balance (it's inherently difficult to balance criminal cases that aren't defense sided, but as long as it's not above a 55% win rate for the defense I'll be content.) then it should make for an incredible year of Mock Trial. I already cannot wait for August to get here so I can read it myself.


    • #3
      RedRupee1 I tend to agree that it's a great concept to build a case on. I'm a little afraid that we're going to have like 4 crying emotional witnesses per round, but I assume AMTA will avoid that by making a lot of witnesses not closely related to the child.

      As far as defense bias, I actually think the weight of this case may help in that regard. When someone is accused of something as serious as *child murder* I think a lot of people assume that a person has to be guilty and it's difficult to craft a strong defense of someone who is presumed to have kidnapped and murdered a child. It's easier for, say, someone who allegedly tried to strangle a grown adult over a weird confusing love triangle situation. I can't see a way of "justifying" a child murder in the same way, and a lot of defense methods of trying to cast sympathy and make accusations at the prosecution feel a little less available when dealing with someone accused of such a serious, dark crime.


      • #4
        It's the opposite. AMTA juries are academics who don't presume guilt like real juries do. The more serious the accusation, the harder it is for the prosecution to win, every time. Defenses get more and more points just for talking about the gravity of the accusation and the burden of proof.

        It is much harder in real life when the jury can't even look at you or your real client in the eye after opening statements. When it's real, the courtroom can become an incredibly uncomfortable place for the defense. Not so in mock trial.


        • #5
          I imagine this case will be similar to Hendricks in that you'll have a strong pros. expert, a weak sauce but high scoring defense expert, a character on the defense who on paper hurts your case more than not, an investigator that is competent but people will still complain is doing it wrong, a sympathetic pros. witness, a character pros. witness, a defendant who can make stuff up but who we all know is guilty, and then some swings that'll seem great for pros. but have sleeper D facts. Give or take a gimmick like forced witness calls for one side or maybe pursuing two charges (Kidnapping charge vs Murder charge with some separate facts maybe?) and you have yourself a case.

          Kind of a repost of that one meme someone posted on the FB page, but I like the above style of designing cases. In honesty, this case looks like a lot of fun, and a really serious charge in this case is a good departure from the less than serious cases ran this year. Like a lot of people, if case imbalance is just kept to under 4% or so, and case changes are drastic, I'm stoked to get to see it.