The verdict, in this case, was a light that illuminated the vast darkness that exists within America’s criminal justice system.
This case involving the murder of Ahmaud Arbery provides some measure of hope that jurors who are given accurate facts and a video of the crime override any attempts by defense attorneys and others to validate the shooting of an unarmed Black man jogging in a white neighborhood.
These verdicts along with the amendment of the citizen’s rights law that provides for ordinary citizens to arrest and detain a person believed to have committed a crime in their presence and police in the area are not available to respond.
It was helpful that both the judge and the prosecutor were not from this town. Their presence aided in implementing the change that is needed in our system where the court and the prosecutor and in many instances the defense attorney’s impact on the possibility of justice.
This case is contrary to the action in the Rittenhouse case on a similar law in Wisconsin.
All three men in the Ahmaud Arbery case in Brunswick, Georgia were convicted of murder and will likely spend the rest of their lives incarcerated.
Justice is not possible with the murder of Mr. Arbery but accountability is possible and was carried out in a court of law by a jury of their peers.
It should be noted that things appear to be slowly changing in the South. Local law enforcement officers tried a cover-up of the crime through a prosecutor that knew one of the perpetrators who had previously worked in law enforcement, but now she is facing obstruction of justice trial in February.
These three men were convicted by a jury of their peers under an 1863 law designed for white citizens to conduct citizen’s arrests of Black people, but a jury of eleven white people and one Black man in southeast Georgia, even though the defense tried to use race to try to sway the jury talking about long. dirty toenails found them guilty on the basis of the facts not on the basis of their skin color. The jury did not take the race-bait and for that we are thankful and give God the glory.
This case symbolizes a contrast that a young Black man who was shot and killed with a bag of Skittles in his hand with the perpetrator going free in an unjust court decision, may now be able to jog in the neighborhood of his choice and hopefully return home alive and safe.
We must continue to make sure that we are vigilant in changing the laws at the state level. We must be more focused on selecting and electing judges who can and will fairly mete out justice without regard to the race or gender of the defendant.
After 74 days, an inaccurate narrative suggests Ahmaud Arbery was a robber who was breaking into a house under construction in an all-white neighborhood. The defendants were finally found guilty of pursuing, detaining and murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Justice prevailed in this case, but we cannot rest, we must remain vigilant.