UW College Of Law Hosts Annual Historic Mock Trial

Apr 5, 2019


Painting of the Rock Springs Massacre
Credit Wikimedia.org

UW is hosting a mock trial on April 15 based on a historic event that happened right here in Wyoming. In 1885 one woman's husband was killed. He was one of the Chinese coal miners killed in the Rock Springs Massacre that resulted in 28 to 50 deaths, all Chinese immigrants. 

It happened after white workers went on strike to protest Union Pacific's decision to hire Chinese workers, who agreed to accept less in pay.

UW's mock trial is a part of the college's ongoing five-year annual event. Every year, a trial is put together and carried out based on a historic moment. It's comparable to a real court case in that nothing will be scripted and lawyers will use evidence to make their case.

Clothing will be historically accurate and real documents from the American Heritage Center will be used as evidence in the trial.

Sean Easton, a UW Law Professor said, the College of Law an educational institution and he thinks this is a great educational opportunity for people to learn both about trials and about an important historic event.

"We use modern law and modern technology but we put people in costumes including the lawyers to reflect the 1885 period and lawyers really get into it even though there is no real money at stake," said Easton.

The trial is put on not only to inform the law students but also the community about how a trial is performed and about a specific historic moment.

This historic mock trial will be held at the UW College of Law on April 15. A PBS special on the massacre will show before the trial at six. The trial will start at 6:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m.