The trial of martin luther



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THE TRIAL OF MARTIN LUTHER

Trial Date: , 1520 (2011)
Background
We as a class have been transported back to the year 1520 and the city of Worms. Here, you find yourself involved in the trial of the German Monk, Martin Luther, who has given himself up to the authority of the Catholic Church to address the charges that he is, in two words, a heretical revolutionary. The specific charges are as follows:
Count 1: Inciting members of the Catholic Church to rebel against the authority and established doctrines of the universal Christian Church

Count 2: Willful denial of the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church


Roles in the Simulation
I will assign the characters. All character assignments are final.
Character Roles in the Trial


The Prosecution
Prosecuting Attorney

Prosecuting Attorney


Witnesses:

Holy Roman Empire

  • John Tetzel

  • Ignatius Loyola

  • King Philip II of Spain

  • Queen Mary of England




The Defense
Defense Attorney

Defense Attorney


Witnesses:

  • Martin Luther

  • Henry VIII

  • John Calvin

  • Queen Elizabeth

  • Jan Hus

  • John Wycliffe

  • Anabaptist

Holy Roman John Tetzel

Neutral
Judges:

Cardinal


Cardinal

(Cardinal)

(Cardinal)
Press:

News


News

News





Character Details and Responsibilities
1. Martin Luther:

  • You are the defendant in the trial

  • You will testify in his defense before the tribunal of cardinals

  • You must be able to answer questions consistently with Luther’s theological views and be familiar with specific aspects of his life.


2. The Prosecution Team:

  • The prosecution shall consist of two attorneys

  • The prosecution will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther is guilty of each of the two counts of indictment listed above.

  • Each attorney for the prosecution will prepare a four minute speech:

1 attorney for your opening argument which introduces the case against Luther

1 attorney for your closing argument which summarizes your case against Luther

  • The prosecution will be allowed to ask four primary questions and four follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther. In addition, the prosecution will be allowed to ask three primary questions and three follow up questions of each of the other witnesses. (Time is not to exceed 5-7 minutes)



3. The Defense Team:

  • The defense team shall consist of two attorneys

  • The defense team will prepare its case to prove that Martin Luther is not guilty of any of the charges as outlined in the indictment above.

  • Each attorney for the defense will prepare a four minute speech:

1 attorney for your opening argument which introduces the defense team’s case for Luther’s acquittal on all three counts

1 attorney for your closing argument which summarizes the defense team’s case for Luther’s acquittal on all three counts

  • The defense team will be allowed to ask four primary questions and four follow up questions as part of its examination of Luther. In addition, the defense will be allowed to ask three primary questions and three follow up questions of each of the other witnesses. (Time is not to exceed 5-7 minutes). *There is some flexibility here. Feel free to respond to a statement you strongly disagree with.



4. The Witnesses:

  • In addition to Luther’s testimony, there will be other witnesses for the prosecution and the defense available for questioning. See the list of respective witnesses in the chart on page 1.

  • As a witness you must be familiar with the issues that would have concerned your character, familiar with the general ideas and issues of the Protestant Reformation, and have general biographical knowledge. Each witness will be questioned by members of both the prosecution and the defense. Your answers must be consistent with your characters views of the Reformation.

  • As a witness it is your responsibility to provide your attorney with as much information as possible about your character. You need to create questions for the attorney to ask you. In addition, you are responsible for researching and crafting cross-examination questions about a witness from the opposing team. These questions should be thoughtful and useful for making your case.You and the attorney may decide to edit these questions but your involvement in this process is very important and will be a part of your trial grade.

  • On the date assigned, you are to provide me a biographical description of your character that contains the following information: birth and death dates, where you were born/lived, major works (if applicable), a BRIEF synopsis about your involvement in and views of the Reformation. ( ~ 250 words)**This needs to be in an electronic format and emailed to me by the assigned date. The subject heading of the email should contain your name and your “witness” name


5. The Judges:

  • There are two-four judges on the Church tribunal; all are members of the College of Cardinals. While they are devout Catholics, they are also aware that there have been many concerns about the doctrines and practices of the Church in the past several years.

  • As a judge you will have to judge Luther’s case on the basis of the issues presented and decide whether or not he should be excommunicated. One of the judges will also act as the chief justice of the court and direct the trial. The chief justice will ask each witness to identify themselves and provide brief biographical knowledge. You are to maintain order in the courtroom.




  • The Judges will:

1. Preside over the trial

2. Evaluate and rule on admissibility of evidence and arguments

3. Maintain order and decorum in the court

4. Reach a verdict and impose sentence


* Judges will read one of the verdicts for a specific charge

* The chief justice shall deliver the sentence that the tribunal agrees upon

* If the verdict is not unanimous, a majority and dissenting opinion will also be presented


  • The only sentence possible in the event of a guilty verdict will be Luther’s excommunication and the transfer of his case to civil authorities for a civil trial and a sentence to be administered thereafter (most likely to be burned at the stake).


6. The Press

  • You will observe and report on pretrial, trial, and post trial events.

  • You should interview members of the defense and prosecution teams and speculate their strategies, tactics, opinions, etc. You can use the format of editorials and cartoons.

  • You may use print media only



Trial Procedure
1. The Chief Justice reads the charges against Martin Luther

2. Opening statements for the Prosecution (4 minutes)

3. Opening statements for the Defense (4 minutes)

4. Testimony of witnesses. The prosecution will call their witnesses and present their case first. (Prosecution and defense teams have 5 -7 minutes for examination of each witness)

5. Closing statements for the Prosecution (4 minutes)

6. Closing statements for the defense (4 minutes)



7. Judges deliberate, reach, and read verdict and sentence


Assignments/Grade


  • The trial will be held on 1520 (2011)

  • Because this assignment requires the application of research and writing skills as well as role-paying, the grade will be determined by the following:


1. Written Assessment (50 pts)

    • Below is a chart that indicates the breakdown of your writing assignments into two parts and into two due dates.




    • Your role dictates the contents of your written assignment. See the chart below for your specific responsibilities. Where applicable - All witness written assignments must include primary sources that were used in the trial/bio research. *See resources page



Role

In Paper – Due – day of trial

Out Paper – Next class Meeting




  • Attorney

Case briefs submitted from each attorney. This brief should contain: 1. The Facts: a statement of the relevant facts of the case, in your own words.  Include the parties involved. 
2. Issues:  The issue is the legal question the court is trying to answer in the case.  You must include your opening statement and a list of the witnesses you will be examining.


Closing statement if applicable. Unbiased opinion of the verdict based on evidence presented. In your unbiased opinions, who do you think was the most valuable witness in the case?




  • Judges

Sets the scene for the case within the historical context of the Reformation. Describes your role as Cardinal/judge within the historical context of the Reformation and describe how medieval courts worked during this time.


The written decision of the judges and their sentence. The justification for their decisions and sentence using evidence presented during the case (attorney questioning, witness testimony, etc.)




  • Witnesses

Biographical information (copy bio). A pre-trial summary of your position on the Protestant Reformation. Use the first person and write in character. Questions you created for your attorney to ask you and a member of the opposition.


Your unbiased opinion and evaluation of the weakest and strongest witness testimony, written as a student. You are not judging your peers on their performance but evaluating the degree to which a specific character helped or hurt the case. Cite specific examples to support your argument



  • The Press

In the form of a news article, you will officially report on pretrial events. Interviews of members of the defense and prosecution teams are to be included in your article as well as any speculation/analysis on their strategies. You also should report on how medieval courts worked during this time.

In the form of a news article, you will officially report on trial and post trial events. Interviews of members of the defense and prosecution teams are to be included in your article as well as tactics, opinions, witness testimony etc. You can use the format of editorials and include political cartoons.





    • Writing Requirements: All written work should have a 1-3 sentence introduction and conclusion, regardless of your role. You must include the required information listed by role.




    • Format: 12 point, Times New Roman font, double spaced (unless you are a member of the press). Page limit: In Paper: 750 words Maximum. Lawyers may be longer – please see me! Out Papers: 600 words Maximum.



2. Role playing/Performance at trial (25pts)

    • How well does each participant play the part he/she has been assigned

    • Effective character performances also include: the use of documents as evidence, costumes, language usage, volume, clarity of verbal argument, and familiarity with testimony, etc.

    • Maintains focus during trial and takes notes for future assessments


**See Rubric for more detail on the requirements for writing and role playing performance. Since the Judges and the Press have less responsibilities than the witnesses and the attorney’s, their grade will largely be determined by the class preparedness during pretrial work time and the written component to this project.




  • Assignment Total: 75 Points



List of Resources/Helpful Websites
Some are specific to character development. In many cases the excerpts rather than the full texts are sufficient! See me if you have questions/problems
Required Resources as applicable to characters:


  • Martin Luther - 95 Theses

  • Martin Luther - On Papal Power, Justification By Faith, The Interpretation of the Bible, and the Nature of the Clergy (See me)

  • John Calvin – The Institutes – Ecclesiastical Ordinances, and the Obedience Owed Rulers

  • Saint Ignatius Loyola – The Spiritual Exercises



Helpful Websites:


  • http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook1y.html (Mostly primary sources, but some secondary as well)

  • http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook02.html (Mostly primary sources, but some secondary as well)

  • http://www.historyguide.org/earlymod/earlymod.html#table (Scroll down to table of contents)





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