|Tiffany Larsen, Emery High Senior participates in the Judge for a Day program. She is seen here with Seventh District Court Judge George M. Harmond.|
As the student selected to be Judge for the Day, I learned many things about the court system and found that what actually goes on in a court room is very interesting. It gave me a sense of pride in the government system we have, because if you look at other countries and the forms of government they have and compare it to the system we have today, I am very proud and honored to be living where I am and wouldn't trade it for anything.
The day started out with meeting the judge. I had the privilege to meet with the judge in his chambers, where he explained to me the differences in the court cases to be handled and he gave me a basic outline of how things worked and what I would see in the courtroom. I had the chance to talk with him about any questions I had and hopefully get the feel of what it would be like working in the courtroom myself one day.
Court started in the morning and some of the things that go through the court system really surprised me. It was a huge eye opener to me to see the cases that go through Emery County's court system.
I live in a world where all of these things go on around me and are close to me and I don't even realize they are occurring. The officers and law enforcers in our county do more than many of us give them credit for, and I respect them for that.
As I sat as an onlooker in court that day, I really learned to love the system we have. Each case was brought before the judge, and the prosecutor then would lay out the law, telling the judge and the person in court, the justice the law demands and the consequences for the actions that were made. The person in court and his/her attorney would then have the chance to tell their side of the case, and the justice they believe needs to be served.
The judge carefully listens to both sides, and then gives a sentence, fully considering both sides and the justice that is at stake. The judge did this all day long, with only a small lunch break, which was made even smaller because he was still listening to cases. He really does do a lot of work and so do our prosecutors and attorneys. It amazed me to see how much time and preparation they put into every court case, finding the best way to solve each and every problem at hand.
Every person that went through court that day really was treated fair and equal because of the time those men put into working each and every case, and there were what seemed like an endless amount of cases that day. It's amazing how smooth a complicated process has become because the people in the court room knew what they were doing and how to do their jobs right.
This is a system that really works, and more good comes out of it than I had previously realized. Here in Emery County, there really is a lot of work that goes on in our court system, and the judges really have to make some tough decisions.
As a student, my plans are to eventually go to law school after completing my bachelors degree in English and become a corporate attorney. Being judge for a day really gave me the chance to see what a day in the life of an attorney might be like.
I had never sat in court until now, but I found that I really do enjoy it, and my plans of becoming an attorney myself one day are really what I want to do. There were many instances during the day that the clerks, the judge, and the attorneys asked me if, after sitting through court and seeing what really goes on, my plans had changed yet, or if I had decided to change my mind; and all I could tell them was that my plans are more set in stone now than they ever were before because of the actual time I got to spend in court.
Yes, my eyes were opened, and I saw more of the horrible crimes that go on around me everyday; but they were also opened to a good justice system that punishes those who break the law and protects people on the street that I love and wouldn't want anything to ever happen to, and I really enjoyed that. It gave me the sense that there is something good in our society among the bad that was created to protect us.
We all take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy every day and those people in that court room are there daily protecting those freedoms and us, so that we can continue to take them for granted.
I thank them for that and for the opportunity that I was given to see what it was like in the life of a judge. I had an amazing experience that helped me make decisions for my future career and was honored to be in the presence of those great people.