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Mock Trial of William Penn

The William Penn Trial deals with two very important issues, the writ of habeas corpus and jury nullification.

About These Resources

Adapted from the play:
The Tryal of William Penn and William Mead
By: Mary DeAngelis and Margo Gulati

  • Script - The script has parts for 21 students. However, all students can have roles as opinionated town residents, protesters, and journalists.

How to Use These Resources

The trial takes about 20 minutes. It is amusing and more complex than it appears. Although it may seem simplistic, it deals with two very important issues, the writ of habeas corpus and jury nullification. Select participants for each role and read through the script.

CHARACTERS:

-Narrator
-Crier
-Court, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench
-Jurors, 12, including the Foreman and Bushel
-Foreman, Thomas Veer (Juror)
-Edward Bushel, Juror
-William Penn, Defendant
-Clerk
-James Cook, Witness
-Richard Read, Witness