United States District Court For The District Of Maryland

1219 Words5 Pages
On November 17, 2016, I visited United States District Court for the District of Maryland, which is located in Greenbelt, MD. I attended a jury trial for the case of USA v. Ogundele, Oloyede, Popoola and Popoola. The docket number is PWG 15-0277. Defendants are being charged for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. The presiding Judge is Paul W. Grimm. The phone number to the courthouse is (301) 344-0660. On the day of the jury trial, I arrived at the courthouse before 9am. The inside of the courthouse looked amazing, however, the trial didn’t start at 9am as I expected until 9:10am. On the left side of the courtroom sit 3 district attorneys. On the right side sit 4 defendants and 4 criminal attorneys. Before the Judge came in, people were all chatting to each other, it seemed relaxed and chill. At 9:10, the Judge came in, we heard “All Rise.” Then we heard “All Rise” again, the jury came in, some of them holding their drinks. The jury included members of different races and ages, but most of them are middle-aged. After we all sit down, the trial officially began. The defendants are immigrants from Nigeria, and they are suspected of committing wire fraud and money laundering using car sales as a cover between the United States and Nigeria. First, one of the criminal attorneys started closing argument on behalf on Mr. Oloyede. He began with notifying the jurors their responsibilities, “It is up to you to make the decisions in the system of justice.” In his arguments, Mr. Oloyede is the first college student in his family; even though his transcript shows it took him a long time to finish his degree, it was only because his family ran out of money at the time. Mr. Oloyede is also a hard working young man who works 3 or 4 jo... ... middle of paper ... ...’t too exciting for me. Comparing to what we learned in class, there is some relevance. When the criminal attorneys were stating the jury’s responsibilities, they both mentioned: “the right to trial by jury is fundamental.” That is the Sixth Amendment we talked about in class. Also, when the attorneys were defending their clients, they mentioned multiple times that the evidence prosecution presents need to be beyond a reasonable doubt, which we emphasized in class, too. I didn’t see much interaction between the jury and the attorneys, the jury is not allowed to ask questions anyways. Most of the time it was just the attorneys were talking from their notes along with some body language, for example, using their hands when they refer to the other side, and the jurors were listening carefully. Overall, it was a nice experience going to the court for the first time.

More about United States District Court For The District Of Maryland

Open Document