As it is most days, Judge McLoughlin’s docket was full, and students witnessed first and second rounds of cases that ranged from gathering of more information or sentencing for various crimes.
Working with Judge McLoughlin’s law clerk, Wayne Witherwax, Mr. LaRocca used this experience as a culmination of the course of what our government is about. “We are governed by the greatest system on Earth and it’s a powerful system based on our Constitution,” remarks Mr. LaRocca. “Everything that happened in that courtroom was based on our Constitution. That being said, ‘liberty’ comes at a cost. Laws we hold dear, create that liberty and can take it away as we saw today. Our system of justice may appear to work slowly, but it is designed that way because we want to get it right.
In between sessions, Mr. Witherwax spoke to the classes about his experience and provided the opportunity for the students to hear from others working in the courtroom, which included, the court reporter, court officer, prosecutor, public defender and the probation department. It was quite interesting to hear and witness all the different roles that take place in the courtroom as they all work together. Judge McLoughlin ended the morning speaking in great detail to our seniors on the court process and answering their questions.
Seniors, Mia Ardovini and Jackie Imperati both hope to be prosecutors, and raved about the experience, commenting that it gave them “such a different view and outlook. Also, shows they are so focused on doing the right thing.” Not many people our age are exposed to observing active court proceedings so it was a very cool experience to see it in action,” remarked Lourdes senior, Roberto Leito. Agreeing with her classmates, Maddy Siegrist reiterates that “It was a great experience and very eye-opening to see the real-life repercussions.”
Thank you, Judge McLoughlin and Mr. Witherwax for opening your courtroom to us and providing such a valuable experience for our students!