Three students won a legal essay contest last week, awarded by the Anne Arundel County Bar Foundation.
Each of the Seahawks earned a cash reward for writing essays “concerning two current Supreme Court cases on the constitutionality of sentencing juveniles convicted of homicide to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” according to a release.
Two students tied for first place in the writing competition, earning $500 each. Richard Obear and Lauren Turner both took first in the essay contest, with Lauren Wise grabbing the third place spot. Obear plans to attend Anne Arundel Community College, Turner will head to Penn State University and Wise plans to attend University of Maryland, College Park.
The release stated that the contest was open to students in public and private high schools. More than 30 children submitted essays—each discussing whether the Supreme Court case sentences violated the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
“Our goal in sponsoring the annual essay contest is to encourage high school students to think about the law and how it may affect some issue of concern to them,” said Judge Timothy Meredith in the release. “The focus of this year’s topic was whether youthful offenders should be punished as harshly as adults. We received many essays arguing ‘yes’ and many arguing ‘no,’ with persuasive arguments on both sides.”
The winners were decided by a panel of judges from various circuit courts throughout Maryland.
The three essay-winning Seahawks will be recognized at a special ceremony in Annapolis on June 26 at 8:30 a.m.