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ND Supreme Court justices visit Dickinson students

Members of the North Dakota Supreme Court visited Dickinson schools this week to teach students about the judicial system and about the importance of jury duty.

North Dakota Supreme Court justices Jon Jensen and Lisa Fair McEvers spoke with students at Dickinson High School on Wednesday, April 25. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)
North Dakota Supreme Court justices Jon Jensen and Lisa Fair McEvers spoke with students at Dickinson High School on Wednesday, April 25. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)

Members of the North Dakota Supreme Court visited Dickinson schools this week to teach students about the judicial system and about the importance of jury duty.

State supreme court justices Jon Jensen and Lisa Fair McEvers spoke to students at Trinity High School and Dickinson High School on Wednesday and Thursday. The justices spoke about their experiences in the judicial system and then gave students an overview of the jury selection process. Students were also able to ask questions of the justices about the judicial system.

The North Dakota Supreme Court has been traveling to schools to meet with students and to hear cases for many years. Last year, the justices traveled to Tower City to talk with students and also hear arguments on a real case in the school's gymnasium.

Devan Koch teaches American government, world geography, and law and justice at Dickinson High School. She said she believes the talks went well with her students and thought it was important for students to be able to listen to people like, McEvers and Jensen, who have real life experience in the field.

"I think it was really good for the kids not only be able to meet with a justice but also to be able to hear kind of from their point of view the duties that are required for serving on a jury," she said. ".... I think that bringing a person in who actually has worked in that field so they can see it up close what the duties are and what happens during a trial (is beneficial) rather than just reading it out of a textbook."

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Students were allowed to ask the justices any questions they had about the judicial system. One student asked about whether or not the justices thought the judicial system was fair. The justices responded by saying they believed the system is fair, but is not perfect, and did not believe there was a better system in place elsewhere in the world.

Koch said she hoped students walked away with a better understanding of the judicial system, as well as what it means to serve jury duty and its importance.

"We, as citizens of the United States and North Dakota, have a right to a jury trial by their peers," she said. "So, it's really important that they understand that in order to be given those rights to a public trial and a speedy trial that they know it's their responsibility to have to serve as well."

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