Dj Hill’s Experience as a Judicial Attorney
Through my interview with Daiguan (Dj) Hill and Valeria Banos Vasquez, members of the Judicial Branch, I achieved a greater understanding of how Youth in Government is motivating the youth to pursue a career in politics. Dj allowed me to have an interview with him about a previous case he and his partners worked on in the courtroom.
The case was a homicide, where a seventeen year old broke into a young girl’s house, kidnapped her, then killed her. The young man was being charged with burglary, murder, and kidnapping. Dj and his team were calling this case unconstitutional. Why? Well, the big twist in this case was the man being convicted was mentally disabled and being charged with a death sentence.
Dj told me, “I didn’t think it was right to kill a man who was seventeen and didn’t get the chance to live to his full potential”. He also stated, “I don’t think it’s fair to give him the death sentence, even though he was convicted of three things, but you have to remember he’s mentally disabled, so you still have to charge him.” Dj and his team won using the 8th and 14th amendmendments of the constitution as evidence, and from what Dj told me, he considered his case, “fun and great to experience.”
The 8th amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” This amendment helps prevent the government from harming someone in someway. The 14th amendment states that everyone has the right to “life, liberty or property, without due process of law” or to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Dj also mentioned that he was excited to argue his peers bills, because he wanted to argue and defend bills by his friends and other fellow students. The experience of Youth In Government has really encouraged Dj to want to pursue a career in politics, because he wants to be a part of the change in his community. He hopes that by the end of this program he will be better prepared to give people good information on our constitution.
I also interviewed Valeria Banos Vazquez, who, like Dj, is enjoying the program. “It’s pretty interesting getting to look at the different point of views” she said. Vazquez also told me that she liked being apart of her committee, because was able to defend her case. My final question for Vazquez was whether or not the program made her consider pursuing a career in politics. “It does, kinda, because it makes me get to have a say,” she stated.
For the rest of my visit in the Judicial Branch, I was able to see part of a case, and that the room was full of inspiring people just like Dj and Valeria. People who want to better our communities, counties, and state by making sure we stay constitutional. I hope to have see people like Dj and Valeria in office representing the State of Colorado in the future.