Students tour Frank Murphy as part of 'Choices and Consequences' program

On the morning of May 1, attorneys Lynda McGhee with Ark Nonviolence Program and Robyn L. McCoy, a partner with the law firm of McCoy & Associates, PLLC, facilitated a "Choices and Consequences Program" at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. McCoy, who facilitated a "What to Do When Stopped by the Police Program" with the entire Martin Luther King Student body on Nov. 14, 2017, remarked that the program was the "perfect complement to the program that I did with the students in the fall. I wanted to make sure that the students see the criminal justice system firsthand, have the opportunity to engage with defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges and understand what might happen to themselves or their loved ones if they make bad decisions, decide to hang with the wrong crowd or they are the victims of racial profiling."

McGhee, who has been facilitating the courtroom visits for a number of years, states that the purpose of the program is to "expose students to careers within the court system and the consequences for negative behaviors."

McGhee greeted the students on the steps of Frank Murphy Hall of Justice where she explained the nature of the criminal justice system and showed them the relevant buildings in the area. The buildings included the jail, 36th District Court, the old police headquarters and the juvenile detention facility. The students entered Frank Murphy and learned the history of Ossian Sweet, the black dentist who was the first African American to move into an all white neighborhood on the east side of Detroit. Sweet defended his home against an angry mob and was charged with the murder of one of the angry white men, who attacked the home while his family was inside. Frank Murphy was the judge who presided over the case and both Frank Murphy and Ossian Sweet are memorialized in the building.

Students from Martin Luther King High School visited the courtrooms of the Third Circuit Visiting Judge Dalton Roberson, Third Circuit Judge Bruce Morrow and Thirty Sixth District Judge Nance Adams. They observed some of the proceedings and then asked questions of the jurists. In the afternoon, they had the opportunity to take a class on Criminal Court Basics 101 with Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert Colombo, Third Circuit Judge Qiana Lillard, Thirty Sixth District Court Judge Lydia Nance-Adams, Wayne County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Opolla Brown and President of the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association, Attorney Luther Glenn.

McGhee and McCoy plan to resume with courtroom visits in the fall of 2019.

Published: Fri, Aug 17, 2018

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