The Utah Court of Appeals held a live Zoom session during the weekly Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X]. event on Thursday, Oct. 21.
The event allowed students to witness the process of the court of appeals and watch the proceedings of real-life cases.
“It is an honor to invite Utah’s Live Court of Appeals back to our SUU campus,” said Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of A.P.E.X. Events. “This event is a perfect live look into our justice system. It is a phenomenal opportunity for many students and faculty to see first hand how appeal hearings work.”
The presiding judge of the event was Greg Orme. Other judges included Judge Jill Pohlman and Judge Ryan Tenney.
Nick Turner served as the defending attorney while Jeff Gray spoke on behalf of the state.
Two cases were covered, State v. Grover and Redden vs State. In the first case, Grover stole several trucks and shot a police dog. The officers then shot at Grover, who was hit about nineteen times. Based on the incident, Grover pled guilty to several crimes.
In the second case, Joel Redden committed two domestic violence offenses in October 2019 and the court entered judgment on those convictions in January 2020. Later, the State sought to amend the information to add new charges for violating a protective order, enhanced from class A misdemeanors to third degree felonies based on the domestic violence enhancement statute. Redden opposed the enhancement.
Throughout the court of appeals both the prosecution and the defense were given 15 minutes to tell their side of the case. Throughout this, the three judges asked questions to both lawyers, hoping to gain a better understanding of their individual point of views.
In a case not taking place on campus, the judges would hold a conference once both sides had their time. Then, after a verdict was reached, the lawyers would be informed and court would proceed as deemed fit.
While the event is normally done live on campus, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was broadcasted over Zoom.
Despite the virtual aspect, those attending were still able to ask the judges questions once each court case was considered out of session.
Information on future APEX events can be found here.
Article by: Audrey Gee
Photo courtesy of SUU Apex