Double jeopardy and more at Law Day

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 9, 2008


Staff Reporter

EDGARD – The Edgard Courthouse opened its doors Friday to St. John Parish school children in an effort to get them more educated about the daily proceedings surrounding courtroom operations, as part of its celebration of Law Day.

Established in 1961 by President Dwight Eisenhower, Law Day is an annual nationwide event that brings the public together to spend a day learning about the legal system that governs the nation.

“It gives members of the public who aren’t normally involved in the legal system a better idea of how the courts operate,” said Judge Madeline Jasmine, who organized this year’s event. “It’s a good educational experience for all ages.”

The kids in attendance were treated to brief speeches from Jasmine, and Judges Mary Hotard Becnel and J. Sterling Snowdy, the three judges who operate the 40th Judicial District court.

“Law is what makes man civilized,” said Becnel to the kids. “We would be living like barbarians if it were not for the laws that govern our society.”

Other court personnel were on hand to give advice and answer questions about courtroom procedures, and a handful of high school students came up to give their opinions on freedom, safety and law. There was also a rousing game of Legal Jeopardy, which pitted four middle school-aged students against each other in a battle of legal wits.

Schools that came out for the Law Day event included East St. John High School, West St. John High School, Riverside Academy, Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, Leon Godchaux, Garyville Magnet, John L. Ory Magnet, Fifth Ward Elementary, LaPlace Elementary, and West St. John Middle School.