South Kent students conduct mock trial
The students found Galileo not guilty of heresy or "unintentionally violating 1616 church law forbidding the holding or defending of the heliocentric theory of the universe," said 10th-grade dean Nancy Lyon.
Father Niccolo Lorini, on the other hand, was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison.
The students spent two weeks investigating the history of the 15th century scientist and learning about the heliocentric versus geocentric theories of the universe.
The commonly held view in Galileo's time was that everything in the universe revolved around the earth -- the geocentric theory.
Galileo presented the view that everything revolved around the sun -- the heliocentric theory.
In real life, Galileo was tried by the Roman Inquisition of 1633 and eventually forced to recant his heliocentric theory and spent the last years of his life under house arrest.