Socrates found not guilty in NHM mock trials

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 25 May, 2023 07:00 | < 1 min read
The Chicago audience of 500 became the jurors who decided Socrates’ fate by placing a white chip in a bag for innocence and a blue chip for guilt. Credit: National Hellenic Museum

Socrates, the philosopher from Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy, was found not guilty in a mock trial conducted by the National Hellenic Museum (NHM).

Robert A. Clifford and Sarah F. King, partners of Clifford Law Offices, and Dan Webb, Co-Executive Chairman of Winston & Strawn, defended Socrates before hundreds of jurors in a three-hour event.

Socrates was “re-tried” on charges of breaking Athenian laws 2,500 years ago when he was found guilty and put to death at the age of 70 in Ancient Greece.

Clifford and Webb defended Socrates 10 years ago on charges of corrupting young people with his ideas and disrespecting Greek gods and lost, although Socrates’ life was spared then.

In the real trial in 399 B.C., Socrates was put to death by hemlock. This year was a much different outcome, with King examining Socrates on the witness stand and two groups of jurors finding him innocent.

In a convincing closing argument, Clifford said, “He did not disrespect the gods. He engaged in a purposeful examination of his own life, and encouraged his allies and young men that were around him to do the same.

“There is not a single shred of evidence to support impiety or that he attempted to introduce different gods. There is not a single shred of evidence that he corrupted the youth by telling them at some points you need to question democracy.”

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