Escambia County Law Day held May 2 in Brewton

Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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Atmore-area high school seniors participated in the annual Escambia County Law Day at the courthouse in Brewton on May 2.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day in 1958 to celebrate the role of law in society and the legal system. The local program, which has been around since the early 1980s, allows seniors from area schools to participate in a real criminal trial as jurors. Fourteen seniors were selected from the Atmore-area schools to serve as jurors.

Before the trial began, the program featured Guest Speaker Terri Lovell, the executive director of the Alabama State Bar.

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Lovell spoke about the theme of Law Day, the voice of democracy and the pillars of democracy and what upholds the law.

Lovell said the jury system is the cornerstone of the judicial system as it provides a safeguard of bias.

Lovell said lawyers play a vital role to uphold the rule of the law, adding that those who were in attendance from the county bar association want to make a difference.

“That’s what it is all about,” she said. “My identity is service. The main thing I enjoy is serving.”

Lovell reminded the seniors present from Atmore Christian School, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School and Flomaton High School that in the course of their lives, everyone will need a lawyer at some point.

The trial was for a possession of a controlled substance charge against Tanner Weaver. The case number is CC-2020-000106.

Assistant District Attorney Joe Whitt presented the state’s case, and Attorney represented Gordon Godwin presented the defendant’s case.

Circuit Judge Jeff White presided over the trial, and after swearing in the jurors, explained the process of the court proceedings.

The prosecution (state) and defense made opening statements, and each had an opportunity to present evidence through testimony and exhibit entries.

The jury deliberated and found Weaver not guilty.

Those who participated as jurors included Elizabeth Terry, ACS; Dawson Flowers, FHS; Nolin Godwin, FHS; Leah Rolin, FHS; Anyia Dixon, FHS; Quinton Odom, EA; Tava Johnson, EA; Scottlia Williams, EA; Hannah Johnson, EA; Luis Garcia, ECHS; Na’Asia Reynolds, ECHS; Paul Martin, ECHS; Mary Etheridge, FHS; and Tenya Boyd, ECHS.