Constitution Observance Day includes police protocol and sentences for plea agreements as two of the real appeals cases argued on campus
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
MANHATTAN — Court is back session Tuesday, Sep. 22, as the Kansas State University Manhattan campus celebrates U.S. Constitution Observance Day with a series of real court cases being argued by Kansas attorneys on campus.
Court hearings begin at 1 p.m. in the Little Theatre of the K-State Student Union.
The day gives students a chance to see how the court system and the appeals process works, said Daralyn Gordon Arata, pre-law adviser.
"This is a pretty rare opportunity for students to see real attorneys arguing real cases in front of a real court," Arata said. "This is right in their backyard where they can come in the time frame that works for them and see them in action."
Kansas Court of Appeals Judges Stephen Hill, G. Joseph Pierron Jr. and Karen Arnold-Burger will hear the cases and rule on them as a three-judge panel.
Here is the schedule of cases:
• Case No. 1 — State of Kansas v. Levertis Horne from 1-1:30 p.m. The case centers on whether the jury that convicted Horne of aggravated battery, among other charges, did not know the definition of aggravated battery.
• Case No. 2 — In the interest of K.W.C., date of birth: 2006, from 1:30-2 p.m. A consolidated appeal from child in need of care cases filed in Ottawa County that involve the relationship between the custodial father, who was recently incarcerated, and his two children, ages 5 and 6.
• Case No. 3 — State of Kansas v. Tony Jay Meyer from 2:15-2:45 p.m. The case looks at whether the state breached a plea agreement with Meyer, who agreed to plead guilty to charges of sexually assaulting his foster sister, and whether the district court that convicted Meyer should have given him a lower sentence as he requested for entering into a plea agreement.
• Case No. 4 — State of Kansas v. Amanda E. Wagner from 2:45-3:15 p.m. The case focuses on whether the district court erred when it denied Wagner's motions to suppress evidence gathered from her abandoned vehicle and along the chase route she led police on after she declined to stop for suspicion of driving under the influence.
More information about the cases is available at k-state.edu/prelaw/.
In addition to the court cases, Kansas State University celebrates Constitution Observance Day every year with a series of educational events.
"Students at this age are coming into their maturity by having the right to vote, and they need to understand those rights and responsibilities and their position and their power within our Constitutional structure in America," Arata said. "Because of the upcoming election year, we need an informed electorate. I think that's important to serve the collective well-being not only of our state, but of our country."
Additional Constitution Day activities include:
• On Monday, Sep. 21, the Riley County Bar Association is having a reception and dinner for the three judges at the Tallgrass Taphouse. This gives local attorneys the opportunity to meet and talk with the judges and for the judges to get to know some of the people who practice in their courtrooms, Arata said.
• From 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, Sep. 22, the judges will meet with the varsity members of the university's Mock Trial Team to discuss best courtroom practices, such as how to introduce courtroom evidence, ideal witnesses, etc.
• At 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Office of the Provost is hosting a luncheon with the four university attorneys and the Constitution Day Committee.
Kansas State University will resume court on Feb. 2, 2016, as several characters from William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" — played by a troupe of actors from London — will appeal their case in a mock trial. The Shakespearean court drama is part of the activities being offered with the Shakespeare First Folio exhibition coming to Kansas State University in February 2016.