So you are nearing the end of your mock trial, and now it is time for you to do your closing argument. Hopefully you have given this a little thought before it is your turn to get up and speak. Unlike an opening statement, which can be written entirely in advance, the closing argument has to be written as the trial goes along. It has to be adjusted depending on what evidence is admitted by the trial court. The mock trial closing argument will depend a lot on the particular facts of your case, but I will try to make a few suggestions on how you can sketch out an outline.
You are an Advocate for One Side
Remember that your closing argument is just that, an argument. You need to convince the jury of the merits of your arguments – not to consider the facts from a neutral point of view. No matter what sort of case the prosecutor is handling, the prosecutor’s position is always the same: there is no reasonable doubt.
Echo Your Opening Statement
Much like an opening statement, you begin by thanking the jurors for their time. You want to remind the jury of what you said in your opening. For example: “Good afternoon ladies and and gentlemen – thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter here today. As I [or my colleague] stated this morning, the evidence against so-and-so is really overwhelming, and we would ask you to return a verdict of guilty.”
Cover the Elements of the Crime
Every crime has elements, i.e. the things the prosecutor has to prove to make a case. For example the elements of residential burglary, are:
1) entering without permission,
2) into a residence,
3) with the intent to commit a crime.
Look at the mock trial materials your teacher or coach gave you and consider what the elements of the crime are in your case. In other words, what does a prosecutor have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt?
Making Compelling Arguments
See more samples of closing arguments here.
Post by Steve Graham.