Storybook character Goldilocks avoided doing “hard time” with a verdict of not guilty from 12 youth jurors May 1 at Pope Courthouse.

As a celebration of Law Day, students from Fort Bragg participated in a mock trial, based off the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

“We celebrate every May 1 the importance of having our system of laws and how essential it is to our country,” said Col. Jeffrey Thurnher, staff judge advocate, XVIII Airborne Corps. “This year our theme is, free speech, free press and free society.”

During the trial, Goldilocks was charged with larceny, trespassing and destruction of property. These charges stem from her entering the three bear’s property, eating their porridge and breaking the baby bear’s chair.

Soldiers, dressed up as all the fairy tale characters including the wolf, testified for the prosecution and Goldilocks testified for the defense.

“We reached out to three DOD schools of fourth and fifth graders and gave them a chance to sit and experience this,” said Capt. Charles Hamilton, trial counsel, XVIII Abn. Corps. “We want them to have a better understanding of the law and the legal system, maybe have a legal career down the road, but just really (have an) appreciation for our laws and society.”

After both cases were presented, students gathered in the courtroom to decide whether she was innocent or guilty on all charges. After 15 minutes of deliberation, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty.

Law Day is a national holiday set aside to celebrate the rule of law. The day provides an opportunity to understand how law and the legal process protect liberty and strive to achieve justice.

The event was hosted by Thurnher.