'Court' at Florida school acquits Wicked Witch

May 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 24 (UPI) -- A "court" comprised of students at a Florida school found the Wicked Witch of the West "not guilty by reason of insanity" on an attempted murder charge.

Mark Haynes, a seventh grade literature teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School in Fort Lauderdale, said his students played the roles of the defendant, victims, witnesses, prosecutors and defense lawyers, while students from other classes at the pre-K through eighth grade school served as jurors and spectators, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday.

Haynes said the trial Thursday was the result of two months of preparation as part of a lesson using the plot of "Oz the Great and Powerful."

The role of the judge was filled by Tim Donnelly, a prosecutor with the Broward State Attorney's Office.

The jury deliberated for 10 minutes and found the witch not guilty by reason of insanity.

Haynes said the lesson helped the students apply lessons from literature to real life.

"I'm not necessarily trying to cultivate lawyers or actors," he said. "I'm trying to cultivate thinkers and artists."

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