Jury Activity

In this activity, students are challenged to craft characters and stories, analyze evidence, and persuade their fellow jurors’ reasoning until they reach a consensus. This can be integrated into education about social justice, equality, human rights, cultural competency, and also into education on the practice of law.


  • Make up a story about something horrible that happened to you, and ask the group for their help resolving it.
  • Start the story with “the night before….” and be as silly, exaggerated, and creative as you want in setting the scene–e.g. “chickens were set loose, my cats ran away, someone took my favorite sneakers…”
  • Ask 3 volunteers to act as the suspects and the rest of the group to represent the jury. You can write the names in the chat or have the jury choose a “thumbs up” emoji on their Zoom name
  • Choose one of the suspects and tell them in a private message that they are the guilty one. Instruct them to defend themselves.
  • Have the jury question the 3 suspects to figure out who did it; encourage at least one question from each student in the jury to any one of the standing suspects.
  • After the trial, have the suspects leave the meeting (for no more than 5 minutes) so the jury can discuss and come to a majority vote about who did it. Perhaps this can be achieved by sending the suspects into their own “breakout room” if Zoom is your platform, or having them mute their computers and walk away.
  • Have the 3 suspects re-join, and ask the jury to give their verdict, then ask the guilty one to reveal him/herself.

Sample Discussion Questions

  • What did it feel like to be accused of something you did not do?
  • What did it feel like to accuse and question someone who you later found out was not guilty? Why did you think ______ was guilty?
  • Why did you think ________ was innocent?
  • How did it feel to be the guilty one?
  • How did it feel to be chosen the guilty one by the jury?
  • How did it feel to not be chosen the guilty one by the jury?