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The People vs Sameh Laham

JURY Booklet
__ April 2016
Written By: _____________

About Me:
Jane Doe
I may not have an
identity, but at least I have
a belly button


Background Information

Assignment Directions
During your time in the library, you will need to research the following
questions to prep for your trial. Your answers should be organized, detailed, and
thoughtful. This means aim for 100 word responses, answer all the whys and hows,
connect your answers to the text, and provide evidence to support them. Use
images to supplement your answers. If you find your information/images from a
specific website, be sure to cite that website in MLA formatting using the Oslis MLA
citation maker. Each of you will be responsible for handing in your OWN work,
however, you are welcomed to discuss any questions/concerns with your peers as
you work. Remember, you were specifically chosen for the roles of jury members.
Think about why you may have been chosen.

1) What is the definition of bias?
A tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly.
This connects to the book because during the trial I need to stay unbiased and focus more on who presents the information better
during our trial.
a) What kinds of biases might you have that could affect your interpretation of the case?
Whether or not you personally believe that Sameh should be guilty or innocent could affect my interpretation of the case.
Personally, I see why Sameh should be charged because a lot of people died in the explosion but he never detonated his bomb so
is he really at fault for the explosion? I also wonder if Sameh had never decided to be a suicide bomber, would that bus attack
have still taken place.
b) How are you going to combat your own preconceived notions in order to stay unbiased during the trial?
Just listen to the questions that are asked and the answers given. Decide based on who presents the evidence better. Which side is
more compelling.

2) Define the definition of guilty in the context of a trial
A person found guilty of a criminal charge, either as a result of an acknowledgment of it by pleading guilty, or as a result of a trial at which the accused
was found guilty of the offence changed.
Define Murder in the 1st degree.
First degree murder is the unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated. This relates to the book because the bombing of the bus was both willful
and premeditated. It had been planned out and Sameh thought about it for around a month before deciding for sure that what he wanted was to become a
suicide bomber.
What does it mean to be innocent until proven guilty?
A crime isnt your fault until it is proven with evidence that it is. This relates to the book because it would need to be proven that Sameh detonated his
bomb, and actually committed the crime before he can be charged as guilty.
What is the difference between circumstantial evidence and concrete evidence?
Direct evidence does not require any reasoning or inference to arrive at the conclusion to be drawn from the evidence. Circumstantial evidence, also
called indirect evidence, requires that an inference be made between the evidence and the conclusion to be drawn from it.
Can someone be convicted of a crime based only on circumstantial evidence? Why or why not?
Yes. Circumstantial evidence in this respect is intrinsically no different from testimonial evidence. Circumstantial evidence could be used to
prove that Sameh is guilty.

What is the definition of privacy?
Privacy is the state of being apart from other people or concealed from their view; solitude; seclusion. This relates to Sameh because he
planned the attack on the bus with the man who he went to meet. They met in a private place and nobody knew of their plans aside from
Does the constitution protect ones right to privacy? Why/ Why not?
Yes, the constitution does protect ones right to privacy. The fourth amendment protects ones property from unreasonable
search and seizure. There must be a search warrant or probable cause to search ones property. Evidence taken without a
warrant cannot be used against you in court.

Where is the line drawn between one persons privacy and another persons safety?
When someone is using their right to privacy in order to hide something with the intent to hurt someone or that could
potentially hurt someone. What Sameh planned in private had the potential to hurt or even kill a lot of people if he went
through with it.

Freedom of Thought?
Does the freedom of speech imply a freedom of thought?
Yes, I think freedom of speech should imply a freedom of thought unless you are using this freedom to cause harm.

Can thoughts be illegal? Is an intent to kill enough to convict a person of 1st degree murder, even if they fail?
I think some thoughts can be illegal. For instance if you are using your thought to premeditate a murder or a crime of some sort then it could
be used against you. I think if you premeditate a murder and dont attempt it then you cant be convicted of anything but if you have
premeditated a murder and you attempt it but you fail then you could be convicted of first degree murder.


If you could get a print-out of a persons thoughts, would it be humane to use that information in a court of law, or is
that a violation of privacy? Why or why not?
I think it wouldnt be humane to use that information in a court of law, I feel like it would be a violation of privacy. I think it would be a
violation of privacy because if someone could print out your thoughts and use them against you then you wouldnt have much privacy at all,
it would be like at any time if there was a probable cause or a search warrant then they could have all your thoughts and use them against
you. I think it would depend on the situation to such as if someone were actually planning a murder.

Death Penalty
In the state of North Carolina, what is the punishment for first degree murder?
First degree murder is punishable with the death penalty or life in prison without parole. This can relate to Sameh because he
will be punished in some way if he is found guilty of the crime.
Are there ever any exceptions to this? If so, what are they?
There are exceptions if you are under 18 years old at the time of the murder. This relates to the book because Sameh is
under 18 so he couldnt be punished with the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

How are the consequences different for someone who is tried as a minor versus someone who is tried as an
There is a minimum of 25 years imprisonment prior to becoming eligible for parole. This connects to the book because Sameh
will have to face consequences of his crime.
Can a 16 year old be legally tried as an adult. If so, under what circumstances?
No, a 16 year old cannot be legally tried as an adult. In the book Sameh is younger than 18 so he cant be tried as an

Works Cited
"bias." Merriam-Webster. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
Duhaime, Lloyd. "Guilty Definition." duhaime.ord. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
"Holland v. United States." Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
"Privacy ." Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
Reuters, Thomas. "First Degree Murder Overview." Find Law. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
Reuters, Thomas. "North Carolina First Degree Murder Laws." Find Law. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.


Character Notes

Assignment Directions
As you listen throughout the trial, you are to take detailed notes on each
characters testimony. This will help you to deliberate later. Be sure to replace the
titles of each slide with the characters names and who portrayed them. As you
listen, think about what the characters say that affect your verdict, but also think
about how the prosecution and defense construct their time with the witness. They
should prove a specific point with each witness and be able to recap that point to
you after each witness takes the stand. Make sure you take note of how well they
drive that point home, or whether they miss the mark. These notes can be bulleted.

Notes: Character Lidia Adler: Portrayed by Mia Romano


How Lidia is related to the crime

Whether or not Lidia thinks Sameh should be convicted of first degree murder and what she thinks of him

Sameh killed innocent people and there is no reason he shouldnt be convicted


Lidia doesnt have solid knowledge about the crime because she wasnt there first hand

She doesnt know all the facts about the bombing

Her best friend Vera was there, therefore she is biased towards the crime and whether or not Sameh is guilty

Presented the information well and was convincing.

Notes: Character Baruch Ben Tov: Portrayed by Ryan Barduch


He had seen a lot of death before with his experience in the Holocaust

He was supposed to be in charge of watching Thomas once he arrived at the Kibbutz

He thinks Sameh should be guilty

Baruch did what he did in order to save others while Sameh did it with malice intent

He has done something bad for the right reasons

Baruch killed his son in order to protect others

He regrets his decision to kill his son and would have changed his decision had he known the outcome

Baruch is an unreliable witness due to his own experiences

Notes: Character Ilse Wanninger: Portrayed by Kayla


Mother of Thomas Wannginger, let him come to Israel to get information about his Grandfather

Would feel bad if Sameh was sent home a free man

Sameh was the one who injured her son because he is the one who brought a bomb onto the bus with malice intent

Most witnesses here today werent at the crime scene


Wants the best for her son

Didnt witness the accident, recently lost her husband.

Didnt witness the accident, was in another country when the accident happen. Doesnt know enough to say that Sameh
Laham is guilty. Only looking out for the best intentions of her son.

Motherly love is causing her to be biased towards Sameh

Cannot say for herself that she knows if Sameh exploded the bomb

Notes: Character: Thomas Wanninger Portrayed by: Dylan


When he came to Israel he knew about suicide bombs

Didnt feel in danger prior to the explosion, was in pain and confused after the explosion

Didnt see when Sameh was put against the wall

Hasnt seen enough to be a viable witness, cannot remember things as they actually happened

Didnt think much of Sameh and wasnt suspicious when he got on the bus

Didnt see Sameh set off his bomb

Isnt a viable witness because he cant remember things as they actually happened.

Notes: Character Vera Brodsky : Portrayed by Abby


Was on the number 9 bus

Saw Sameh walk onto the bus because he was late and the doors were starting to close, didnt notice the backpack

Remembered Sameh stopped walking near the middle of the Isle, there was yelling and Sameh was pushed up against
the bus window

Doesnt remember much after that

Cannot determine whether or not she did or did not see Sameh detonate the bomb because she cannot remember much
after he got on the bus

People werent threatened by the Sameh at first, if he were to go to any other location he probably wouldnt be
suspected there either, if he is not put in jail for life then he will likely do it again

Was sitting in the second row of the bus, she was sitting waiting and then saw Sameh get on the bus

Didnt suspect Sameh of anything after seeing him get on the bus

Saw Sameh get pushed up against the bus window

Didnt see Sameh Laham Detonate a bomb

Sameh had to have been near Vera and Thomas, when he was pinned against the window

Saw a man outside the window hanging out of a yellow van, it seemed suspicious. They believe this man was the one
who detonated a different bomb not Sameh.

Notes: Character Dan Oron: Portrayed by Aaron


Had known about who Sameh Laham was

Was devastated when he heard that Vera had been injured on the bus

Had gone to Samehs house with other soldiers looking for him

Feels Sameh is at fault

Was looking for Sameh prior to the explosion and Sameh was suspected of something for some reason

He is a soldier so it is his job to be unbiased and to find criminals

Sameh was already suspected of something by the police and military for some reason unknown at the moment

How can the blame be pinned on someone else when Sameh was seen on the bus with a bomb

Was on a mission to search for Sameh, they went to his house and he wasnt there.

Wasnt at the scene of the bus explosion

Biased because of his relationship with Vera, he is too emotionally involved in the case to be considered

Distraught and needs someone to blame

Notes: Character Bus Driver: Portrayed by Gerald


Stopped the bus at Yonis diner on Highway 1 and locked the bus

Noticed Sameh coming onto the bus and he seemed suspicious, he was acting nervous, was taking two steps at a time
when getting on the bus and talking to himself.

On the scene of the incident and noticed Sameh getting on the bus suspiciously

How could anyone else set off the bomb if the injuries were in the back of the bus and the van was in front of the

Witnessed Sameh nervously getting on the bus, pulled onto the highway and a van swerved near him

Majority of the badly wounded were in the rear of the bus, while Sameh was towards the front of the bus. How could
the majority of bad injuries be in the back of the bus

Doesnt know about the injuries, he isnt a doctor

Had soldiers hit him on the head and push him against the bus window. How could Sameh detonate his bomb while
being hit and pushed against the window.

Notes: Character Clyde Berlay: Portrayed by Ian


Reported on Samehs home village and has an accurate description of what his last words were

Villagers were celebrating because in their eyes Sameh had done good

In Omars village they were upset about his death

Sameh was seen and had declared himself a Shaheed, he was there and his family believes he is a Shaheed. He has
declared himself a shaheed it would be wrong not to convict him.

Samehs mother was happy because he had done something worthy

It isnt unreasonable for him to want to be a shaheed for the benefit of his family due to the money his family was

Knowledgeable of this type of situation

Poor village, his mom was very poor and he didnt have a father anymore.

The bus looked like it had been gutted

In Omars village his family was crying, his mother was upset because he was everything to her

Omars body was taken from the van

We can infer that is was Omar not Sameh who blew up the bomb

Notes: Character Police Officer: Portrayed by Ben


Was in charge of the arrest and interrogation of Sameh, he felt Sameh was lying when he said he wouldnt harm

He feels if Sameh goes free then he will try and bomb another area for money

He thinks Sameh was okay with murdering people because of a Holy cause

Didnt find a second bomb on the bus

Why should we risk letting Sameh go when he could turn around and do it again

Sameh Laham did take a bomb on the bus and it was not found by the police dogs therefore it is safe to assume
that Samehs bomb went off

People were thrown out of the bus due to the explosion, is it possible for them to be thrown out of the bus without an
explosion inside the bus

Been doing police work for several years

Has seen his fair share of bus bombings, had spent much of his time looking for Sameh

Enough evidence has been presented to show that Omar was in the drivers seat of the stolen van who bombed the bus

There is no reason to believe Samehs bomb exploded inside the bus

The bus wasnt blown up from inside

If Sameh was inside the bus how could he have exploded a bomb inside the bus

Why would Sameh be convicted of a crime that he couldnt physically commit

Notes: Character Dr. Ibriham Stitti : Portrayed by Wesley


Medical Expert for the explosion on bus 9, he knows what injuries to look for.

Injuries from bombs set off in closed areas,

They had injuries that would have come from a blast wave inside the bus

Sameh let the shoulder strap of his backpack slip off of his shoulder, when he did that could he have triggered the
bomb in doing this

A bomb set off inside the bus would explain various eye injuries and other injuries inside the bus

Thomas wounds are not like those who would have been near the bomb

Sameh was near Thomas when the bomb exploded, he would have had worse injuries had Samehs bomb gone off.

He is not a bomb expert and isnt completely familiar with how bombs work

He wasnt trained in bombs

He says hes an expert but doesnt have documentation

Can you really believe what he says about the explosive force of the bombs

The bus driver should have been injured if the van had been in front of the bus

Notes: Character The Boss: Portrayed by Simeon


Illegally let Sameh work at his diner

Was seen wearing the green backpack

The shirt that Sameh had been wearing and which helped him to not be questioned on the bus was given to him by
the Boss.

Trusted him because he was a family guy who really cared about people

The boss thought that he was partly to blame for the explosion

Wanted to be a shaheed to help his family, it isnt unreasonable to assume that he wouldnt take the incentive and
become a shaheed in order to help his family

Knew that hiring Sameh was a felony, how can you trust a felon

He thought Sameh was a kind family person who cared about his mother and siblings

Sameh has never given any reason to suspect him of terrorism

He was the main source of income for his family and would miss work to take care of his mother

Doesnt feel Sameh is capable of blowing up a bomb

Saw Omar is a yellow van on the same day as the explosion

Is it possible Omar could have convinced Sameh to become a suicide bomber as he was a young emotional boy. He
was influenced by other people.

Notes: Character Amal Laham: Portrayed by Ally


Was proud of him but was also disappointed for his decision in becoming a Shaheed

Believed Sameh went onto the bus as a suicide bomber

Doesnt take any medication for the pain in her legs


The passing of her husband threw them into poverty

Sameh felt the need to take over as the main provider of the family

Knew why Sameh went to Israel everyday

Didnt suspect him of doing anything dangerous or illegal or being involved in any terrorist organization

Believes it is possible that Sameh was misled by promises of money for those he cared about

Why would Sameh blow himself up if he were the only provider for his family

She cannot believe that Sameh is alive and was very happy when Sameh failed

Notes: Character Sameh Laham: Portrayed by Ethan


Worked illegally and had to sneak past border patrol everyday

He intended to do something great and heroic

Received a bomb with instructions to blow up a bomb

Got on the bus with the intent to set off a bomb

Changed his mind after seeing a mother in the back of the bus with her baby and it reminded him of his own family, he thought
that if he werent there then he couldnt provide for them anymore

He knew by doing what he was going to do that he wouldnt be able to be there to support his family anymore

The switch was on the side of the bomb, the bomb could have gone off when he dropped the bag

Was at Yonis diner before the explosion and it was previously decided he would get on that bus

Got on the bus without the bus driver checking his backpack

Manually detonated

Closer to the front of the bus, the bus driver yelled and he was pinned against the window, his hands werent free at the time and
he couldnt activate the bomb

Saw Omar in a var beside the bus before the explosion, he had a bomb in his hands

The bus had said something about Omar being there that day

His hands werent free when a bomb went off, a man in a yellow van was seen hanging out of a window before the bomb

If his hands werent free how could he have detonated the bomb?

The fuel tank exploding could have caused the same injuries as Samehs bomb exploding

Would have been around the epicenter of the explosion had his bomb exploded then he would have died



Assignment Directions
Fill in the blanks for the following 2 templates to determine and state your verdict. You will also
include a suggested sentence for the accused based on your research. Make sure that you elect a Jury
Chairman who is willing to read your statement to the court. You will have a specific allotted amount of
time to determine the verdict, and when court is back in session, the Chairman of the Jury will read the
verdict aloud.
As you deliberate, please remember: You are to make an UNBIASED decision. After all witnesses have taken
the stand, you must ultimately ask yourselves the question: Which side argued it better? Which side
presented concrete evidence and told a more COMPLETE version of the truth. You cant base your verdict
off of your own opinions -- you must pretend that youve never read the book and determine a verdict
based on the PERFORMANCES you saw by everyone in the courtroom and the EVIDENCE that they provided

Good Luck!
FYI: Some of your classmates very well might hate you after this. No worries.

Deliberation Worksheet

Crime Charged


Murder in the 1st Degree

Not Guilty
Not Guilty

Didnt prove that he didnt detonated his bomb

Criminal Possession of a weapon in third degree


Knowingly possessed a bomb with the intent to harm others

Terrorist Activity


involved acts dangerous to the human lives and it appeared to intended


In the case of The People vs Sameh Laham, the defendant, Sameh Laham has been charged with the crimes
of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and terrorist activity..
After careful examination of all evidence presented by both the Prosecution and Defense Teams..
For the crime of First Degree Murder, we the jury find the defendant NOT GUILTY.
For the crime of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, we the jury find the defendant
For the crime of Terrorist Activity, we the jury find the defendant GUILTY
As an educated Jury, we have provided a recommended sentence for the defendant to Chief Judge Agar.
Based on the precedent set by previous similar cases, we, the jury recommend that the defendant, Sameh
Laham, serve a sentence of 5 years in prison and an additional 5 years in a detention rehabilitation center.