A jury of his peers found Harry Potter not-guilty of the charge of misuse of magic. It may sound silly, but the premise of Harry Potter in trial gave a class of fourth grade students a great foundation to learn how justice works.

The junior legal eagles from The Meadows School experienced how criminal trials proceed when they served as judge,  jury, lawyers and witnesses for the misappropriation of magic case today with Judge Douglas Herndon at the Eighth Judicial District Court.

The accused was renowned master of magic Harry Potter, who was lawyered-up with top-notch student defense attorneys. Prior to the mock trial, the students witnessed the tail-end of Judge Herndon’s actual criminal calendar. The judge admonished a young defendant who had multiple felonies. He warned that the defendant’s children would be graduating college and have forgotten about him in jail, if he didn’t change his ways. The fourth graders were listening. When asked about it, one student commented to the judge that he thought he was harsh on the defendant. The judge took the opportunity to further the lesson by explaining the variables that a judge must consider.

Judge Herndon has been doing mock trials with students for years and said, “Mock trials are a fun and effective way to educate kids about the justice system.” He also makes it a point to explain how education and staying away from drugs and other bad choices are important to avoid running into trouble with the law.

He will host eighth grade classes on Apr. 12th and Apr. 14th at 10:30 a.m. for mock trials with a plot that Lee Harvey Oswald was not killed and instead goes on trial for the murder of President John F. Kennedy.