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  2013-14 ALASKA HIGH SCHOOL MOCK
TRIAL COMPETITION
Anchorage, February 27 – March 1, 2014


State of Alaska v. Korma Betansong

 

Competition Overview

The annual Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition presents teams of high school students with the chance to learn about individual liberties and the legal process and to explore career opportunities within the law by participating in a simulated trial against other teams. Each team consists of six to nine members who play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a simulated bench trial setting. There are four preliminary rounds to the competition, a semi-final round, and finally a final round. Each round lasts approximately two hours. Over the course of the competition, students must make opening and closing arguments, examine and cross-examine witnesses, introduce evidence, and face and defend multiple hearsay or related objections. Teams are evaluated by a three-person panel of judges, attorneys, and law clerks.

Volunteer Opportunities
If you are interested in being a volunteer judge, please contact Lars Johnson at lars.johnson1981@gmail.com.

Thank you.


Problem Overview

Iniko Betansong died on August 18, 2013 at the age of 8 of metastatic Hodgkin's disease, which is potentially treatable. However, Iniko's mother/father Korma Betansong never took Iniko to a Western doctor, preferring instead to treat Iniko using traditional medicine. Korma took Iniko to a specialist and learned the diagnosis, but s/he never told anyone what it was. Korma follows the ways of the Wosani culture — a traditional culture that relies largely on non-Western medicine and stresses ancestral practices. Chee Lomibu, a local Wosani leader, cared for Iniko during his illness, relying on traditional Wosani healing methods. Unfortunately, those methods did not work for Iniko, who passed away. The State has charged Korma with criminally negligent homicide for the death of his/her son.