Langley High School students heading to (mock) trial

The students at Langley High School in McLean are going to court, taking part in a mock trial Tuesday as part of its annual case day event examining Supreme Court decisions.

The program allows the students at the school to learn more about the country’s highest court in the land, the constitution and how decisions by the justices affect the lives of Americans.

Students at the school Tuesday will engage in a debate on the merits of a case scheduled on the Supreme Court docket this month, Riley v. California .

The case concerns the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by the police and prevents evidence obtained from unconstitutional or warrantless searches from being used against them in court. The Supreme Court will hear whether or not David Leon Riley’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated after police found evidence on his cellphone that implicated him in a gang-related drive-by shooting.

The Langley students in the mock trial will hear the case involving Riley, who was pulled over in his Lexus for driving with expired tags in August 2009.

Police officers and investigators twice examined Riley’s phone and discovered in the data that he may have been connected to gang activity and a drive-by shooting.

The students will debate whether the Fourth Amendment in certain situations allows the police during an arrest to seize a person’s cellphone and search the data on it without a warrant.

The events will begin Tuesday at Langley High School at 7:30 a.m. and conclude by 2:10 p.m.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.
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