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Three men have been convicted in the murder of Ahmed Arberry. Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddy” Brian Jr. are now looking at life in prison. His trial in Brunswick, Georgia testified to two key elements in the criminal justice system: the integrity of the American jury and the power of videotape testimony.
A panel of 11 white judges and an African American jury tabled the defendants for their role in chasing 25-year-old Arberry, trapping him and ultimately killing him.
Ahmed Arberry Trial verdict: Travis McMichael guilty in all countries
This was the same racial makeup as the jury at Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial, where 11 white jurors and one black jury acquitted the defendant on all counts.
The judges in both cases carefully discussed the evidence and made rulings based on that evidence. He has exceeded the public’s enthusiasm and demands to do justice as required under our laws.
The Arberry case is also an example of the impact of videotape evidence. This is the latest case where legal arguments cannot overcome indelible video images. That was the case at the trial of the George Floyd case. The same was the case with Rittenhouse.
Ahmed Arberry Case: Jury Ensembles, Brian Found guilty of Criminal Murder
The two cases, Floyd and Rittenhouse, resulted in different verdicts, but both verdicts were overturned by videotapes.
Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin said the jury could not see the legitimate police action in the actions taken. In contrast, in the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he can see the legitimate right of self-defense.
All the lawyers in the world couldn’t get a jury to see what they saw in those videos.
Could there be a defamation lawsuit or a Daz investigation after the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict?
There is a similarity to the trial of Trayvon Martin’s death, where there is no such videotape evidence. The underlying defense claims are remarkably similar. A Georgia man accused of killing George Zimmerman and Arberry, who were acquitted in the shooting death of Martin, said they followed the suspect and that the shooting occurred only after the deceased had taken up arms.
In Martin’s case, there were only two witnesses to the shooting and only one could testify: Zimmerman. Whether a videotape supports Zimmerman or Martin remains a hot topic of debate. However, the videotape has the potential to cut through legal arguments to bring clarity to the question of motive.
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Judge Timothy Walmsley now decides whether convicted felons in Georgia serve a lifetime with or without parole. However, under state law, such parole can only be obtained after 30 years in prison. For 65-year-old Greg McMichaels, that is no object.
The defendants face a federal hearing in February on charges of federal hate crime. His only hope of getting out of jail comes with appeals to Walmsley’s legal interpretations, which are the foundation of a major jury’s instructions.
In conclusion, the Rittenhouse and Arbery experiments show the transcendental power of our jury systems.
Many in the media Rittenhouse denounced the jury as racist For its acquittal. President Joe Biden declared he was “angry” with the jury’s decision.
Yet, in both cases, 11 white judges and one black judge came to unanimous decisions on many counts. In this age of rage as we often talk about our divided nation, these referees found unanimity based on the rule of law and the weight of evidence. He did justice despite angry demands and protests around his court.
This is exactly what John Adams said when he declared that “the trial and jury trial is the heart and lungs of liberty.”
Click here to read more by Jonathan Turley