The Trial of King Louis XVI Background: It’s the year 1792 in the city of Paris. The National Convention has arrested King Louis XVI and is forcing him to stand trial for his crimes. The National Convention believes that he is a traitor, and they have charged him with the following crimes:
The team will prepare its case to prove that King Louis XVI is guilty of each of the five counts listed above.
Each attorney will help to prepare and deliver a four-minute speech introducing and summarizing the case against Louis XVI.
The prosecution will be able to ask four primary questions and four follow-up questions about King Louis XVI and three primary and follow-up questions of each other witness (not exceeding 5 minutes).
The Defense Team
The team will consist of four attorneys.
The team will prepare its case to prove that King Louis XVI is not guilty of each of the five counts listed above.
Each attorney will help to prepare and deliver a four-minute speech introducing and summarizing the case for Louis XVI’s acquittal.
The defense will be able to ask four primary questions and four follow-up questions about King Louis XVI and three primary and follow-up questions of each other witness (not exceeding 5 minutes).
In addition to Louis XVI’s testimony, there will be witnesses available for questioning.
Each witness must be familiar with the issues that would have concerned their character and be familiar with the general ideas and issues of the French Revolution.
Attorneys for the prosecution and defense will question each witness.
There are eight or ten judges for this trial. Each is a deputy of the National Convention. While they are most likely revolutionaries, they understand and support the enlightenment belief in a fair trial. They will have to judge Louis XVI’s case based on the issues presented and decide whether or not he should be executed.
Testimony and questioning of witnesses (5 minutes per witness on each side)
Closing statement for the prosecution (4 minutes)
Closing statement for the defense (4 minutes)
Judges (Deputies of the National Convention) deliberate and reach a verdict and sentence
We will begin working on the simulated trial next class. You will be given 2 classes in the LMC and the trial will begin the following class period.
The written assignments for each character are:
Attorneys: Case briefs with the attorneys’ opening/closing speech and prepared questions. Must be completed pre-trial.
Witnesses: A written deposition by each witness outlining their position on the French Revolution and the charges against Louis XVI. Must be completed pre-trial.
Deputies: An overview of the real trial and sentencing of Louis XVI. This part must be completed pre-trial. The written decision of the judges and their sentence and its justification. This part will be completed post-trial.
No written aspect of this assignment is to be more or less than two typed pages of 12-sized font double-spaced.
You will also be graded on character performance during the trial, which includes preparedness, enthusiasm, clarity of speaking, staying on the topic, and understanding of the content.