Georgia Defendants Convicted in the Ahmaud Arbery Case

With their conviction in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, three defendants (Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr.) are now looking at life in prison. The trial was a testament to two key elements in the criminal justice system: the integrity of the American jury and the power of videotape evidence .

 A jury of eleven white jurors and one African American jury ran the table on the defendants in convicting them all for their roles in chasing down Arbery, trapping him, and then ultimately killing him. It was the same racial make up as the jury in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse where eleven white jurors and one black juror acquitted the defendant on all counts. The jurors in both cases took careful deliberation of the evidence and rendered verdicts based on that evidence. They transcended the passions and the demands of the public at large to do justice as required under our laws.

The Arbery case is also an example of the impact of videotape evidence. It is the latest such case where legal arguments could not overcome indelible film images. That was the case in the George Floyd trial. It was also the case in Rittenhouse. The two cases resulted in different verdicts but both verdicts were propelled by videotapes at the scene. The jury could not see a legitimate police function in the actions taken by Officer Derek Chauvin.  Conversely, they could see a legitimate claim of self-defense in the action of Kyle Rittenhouse. All of the lawyering in the world could not get a jury to unsee what they saw in those videos.

There are also notable comparisons to the trial of Trayvon Martin where there was no such videotaped evidence. The underlying defense claims were strikingly similar. Both George Zimmerman and the Georgia defendants claimed that they pursued a suspected felon and that the shooting occurred only after the deceased grabbed the weapons.  In the Martin case, there were only two witnesses to the shooting and only one could testify: Zimmerman. Whether a videotape would have supported either Zimmerman or Martin will remain a matter of intense debate. However, a videotape has the ability to cut through legal arguments to bring clarity as to the question of intent.

Judge Timothy Walmsley will now decide whether the convicted defendants in Georgia will serve life with or without parole. However, under state law, such a parole is only attainable after 30 years in prison. That will likely not be material to Greg McMichaels who is 65. The defendants also face a federal trial in February for federal hate crime charges.

In the end, the  Rittenhouse and Arbery trials show the transcendent strength of our jury systems. Many in the media denounced the Rittenhouse jury as racist for its acquittal verdict. President Joe Biden declared that he was “angry” with the jury decision.  Yet, in both cases, juries of eleven white jurors and one black juror came to unanimous decisions on multiple counts. While we speak often of our divided nation in this age of rage, these juries found unanimity based on the rule of law and the weight of evidence. They did justice despite angry demands and demonstrations raging around their courthouses. They represented precisely what John Adams foresaw when he declared “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty.”

123 thoughts on “Georgia Defendants Convicted in the Ahmaud Arbery Case”

  1. Feldman proclaims:

    “Even the best of us make mistakes once in a while, and it’s time for Prof. Turley to fess up and confess his failure to know the actual facts of the case. If he doesn’t, Prof. Turley’s reputation should go down the drain of the toilet and he should be considered to be a presstitute from here on in.”

    And so it begins. A Trumpist losing faith in Turley’s upholding the rule of law. Just wait until Turley defends the juries’ guilty verdicts against Trump, his organization and his associates. This was all too predictable because Turley has never been a Trumpist. Unlike Trumpists, he would never call a prosecution a “witch-hunt.”

    Turley’s reputation will go down the drain among the MAGA crowd. It’s only a matter of time.

    Anyone want to bet against me?

    1. Turley states:

      “While we speak often of our divided nation in this age of rage, these juries found unanimity based on the rule of law and the weight of evidence. They did justice despite angry demands and demonstrations raging around their courthouses.”

      Indeed. Trump lies in the court of public opinion, but he cannot get away with it in a court of law. The rule of law is this nation only salvation, and juries following the law and the weight of evidence will finally hold Trumpists accountable. It’s doing so with the 1/6 rioters (I don’t flatter the inchoate mob by calling them “insurrectionists”), and in the fullness of time, the ringleaders will be judged as well. And Turley will NOT voice your angry Trumpist demands and will NOT support your demonstrations pointing out that the judges were appointed by Democrats, and the prosecutors are Never Trumpers and the juries are liberal elites and not real Americans.

      There will be many more Feldmans among the Trumpists calling Turley a “presstitute.”

    1. Trayvon Martini would be guilty of what? Dying? He committed no crime. He was being stalked by a man with a gun; a man who ultimately killed him.

  2. I understand that Professor Turley made a comment on Fox News likening the Arbery case to the Trayvon Martin case. Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse blog refutes Prof Turley’s point. I would be interested to understand the Professor’s response to this refutation.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/11/24/fox-news-legal-pundit-johnathan-turley-makes-false-comparison-between-trayvon-martin-and-ahmaud-arbery/#comments

    1. This excellent article and analysis of the Trayvon Martin case again points out the dangers when lying media presstitutes write the narratives of court cases through their Marxist-Racist-Leftist lens. It appears that Prof. Turley bought into the presstitutes’ lies hook-line-and-sinker, if we give him the benefit of the doubt. So, these cases can become a depraved, corrupt, Marxist-Racist-Leftist, whisper-down-the-lane game, where lies are passed down without any independent questioning. However, given Prof. Turley’s academic role and marketing tactic of positioning himself as an “independent” legal analyst and expert, his presentation of the Trayvon Martin case was completely irresponsible. An immediate apology should be forthcoming from him. Even the best of us make mistakes once in a while, and it’s time for Prof. Turley to fess up and confess his failure to know the actual facts of the case. If he doesn’t, Prof. Turley’s reputation should go down the drain of the toilet and he should be considered to be a presstitute from here on in. This may sound harsh, but the egregiousness of his deliberately reckless errors supports this view.

    2. Video or no Video….Trayvon would still be dead and for exactly the same reasons.

      The difference would be along with forensic evidence that comported with Zimmerman’s account of that tragic event there would also have been visual evidence that would either support. or challenge Zimmerman’s account AND the forensic evidence.

      Remember folks….video is only as good as the perspective from which it was taken….and does not always show every detail or as much detail as needed to make a case in Court.

      I posted earlier about an analysis of the raw video taken during the Georgia incident…..and all of the discussion it had about what was missing and what could not be seen in the raw video.

      Yet some here still insist that in their minds it was all perfectly clear….when it absolutely could not be so clear and definitive.

      The Defense in the Georgia Case was built upon the wrong basis….it claimed Self Defense….it should have relied upon it being an accidental shooting caused by the fight over the shotgun and accepted a Manslaughter conviction as compared to losing big and gaining a Malice Killing conviction. As the Defense Counsel had a very poor understanding of the Georgia Self Defense and Citizen Arrest Law…..the Defendants should be demanding a Mistrial due to Inadequate Defense by their Attorneys.

      In the Martin/Zimmerman case with no Video….the Jury reached a Verdict.

      In the Rittenhouse case that had Video….the Jury reached a Verdict.

      In the Arbry Case with Video….the Jury reached a Verdict.

      In the OJ Case with no Video…..the Jury reached a Verdict.

      In the upcoming Christmas Massacre Case with lots of Video….the Jury shall reach a Verdict.

      Video or no video….Juries can, will, and shall reach a Verdict….what is more crucial to the outcome is the lawyering, forensic evidence, and Witness Testimony combined rather than just video.

      If as a prosecutor you base your case upon the video of an event….and ignore the rest of the evidence….you shall lose your case.

      1. “ The Defense in the Georgia Case was built upon the wrong basis….it claimed Self Defense….it should have relied upon it being an accidental shooting caused by the fight over the shotgun…”

        Claiming an accidental shooting would never have worked. The McMichaels admitted to the police that if one of them didn’t shoot the other would have. They admitted they were intending to shoot him. That’s no accident defense.

        1. sleestack ; about the only thing I could agree with you on. These three guys were guilty no matter what defense strategy they dared claim. Their clear intent brought them to the deadly conclusion they were thus trialed for. Nothing to see hear move along justice won this and the rhittenhouse decisions like it should have.

    3. Random Comment says:

      “ Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse blog refutes Prof Turley’s point. I would be interested to understand the Professor’s response to this refutation.”

      Turley does not take questions from us. In this way, he is always right because he can never be forced to admit that he may have been wrong. He does not teach here; he only lectures. If you want to ask him questions, you will have to enroll as a law student in one of his classes, but it’s gonna cost ya!

    4. “Sundance from The Conservative Treehouse blog refutes Prof Turley’s point.”

      Sundance needs to learn how to read more carefully:

      “[I]n the words of Turley, ‘there would have been a different outcome in that case.’” (Sundance, then alleging quoting Turley)

      In the Turley interviews I listened to, and in this blog post, there is no such statement from Turley.

      “The explicit and intended implication was that if video evidence existed in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, there’s a possibility George Zimmerman would have been convicted . . .”

      There is no such implication in any of Turley’s statements. His statement is about the value of video evidence in determining *intent* during a shooting, in such cases. *That is all*.

      “Jonathan Good testified during the Zimmerman trial to witnessing the fight . . .”

      First, Good testified to being a witness to only *part* of the fight. More importantly, he did not witness the *shooting* — which, for good reason, is Turley’s focus: “there were only two witnesses *to the shooting* . . .” (Emphasis added.)

      Details and precision matter. On the flip side, Sundance’s sloppy thinking caused a gross misrepresentation of Turley’s arguments.

      (This shouldn’t matter, but: From everything I know about this case, I’m on Zimmerman’s side.)

  3. Let’s see how our Lefties embrace the outcome of the coming Trial in for the mass murder of six people and the injuring of over fifty more by the career criminal that committed that atrocity.

    Wagers anyone ….. I bet the Left try to make him out to be the Poster Boy for Safe Driving and that the victims were all part of a alt-right cult intent upon group suicide and maiming.

    The one thing for sure they shall not do is accept the fact the Killer is a Thug who should have been behind Bars awaiting Trial for other crimes in Wisconsin and the outstanding charges in Nevada which had an outstanding Warrant for his arrest but the Leftie DA’s effort to coddle criminals prevented that from happening…..despite his acknowledging in 2007 that one day something like this would happen and innocent people would die as a result.

    The DA will not face a Recall Election….and the Judge who allowed the trivial bond will not be removed from the Bench….and the families shall bury their dead and care for their maimed and disabled family members at great expense to themselves.

    Yet the Left shall tell us how Justice has been served in all of this death and suffering by the innocent victims at the hand of this evil person….and a more evil criminal justice system.

    1. Ralph says:

      “more evil criminal justice system.”

      Tell-tale sign of a lying Trumpist. You would never hear Turley say something so unhinged.

  4. Well let’s go to the videotape. I see a case for either theory but the simple fact is that the victim isn’t showing anything more menacing than reacting to the threat. Once an aggressor initiates an assault, the victim is justified in responding to deadly force with deadly force. Race hustling aside this verdict can be supported by facts and law:

    1. It was a success on both. Both were chased and threatened. the difference his Kyle had a weapon to defend his life and Ardery did not. Justice won in both cases.

  5. People were more enlightened during the Enlightenment. Liberalism and political correctness has made them dumber.

  6. The reality is that the defendants and Derek Chauvin we’re all convicted because the deceased was black. The video evidence plainly shows Aburey trying to seize the shotgun. If he had been successful, he could have killed all three of them and been hailed as a hero by blacks everywhere for killing three white racists.

    1. “ The video evidence plainly shows Aburey trying to seize the shotgun. If he had been successful, he could have killed all three of them and been hailed as a hero by blacks everywhere for killing three white racists.”

      Of course because that’s what all black people are expected to do. Not.

      Arbery tried to seize the shotgun to defend himself. He wasn’t the aggressor here. What if Arbery used it to stop the others from shooting him? Wouldn’t that be considered an act of self defense. He was chased down and cornered. He had no idea who these people were and why they were after him with weapons. He had true fear for his life and Arbery would have been justified in trying to wrest the shotgun away.

      He was unarmed and had no duty to stop for strangers with guns.

      As noted in the trial the McMichaels didn’t know he actually committed any crime. They just assumed. The moment they decided to give chase they already broke the law.

        1. ” Natacha says:
          November 24, 2021 at 5:39 PM

          Thank you, Svelaz. My sentiments exactly. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.”

          Asking for a friend Natacha,

          What how do you people properly worship Satan?

          1. Your true curiosity is welcomed today, Oky. All efforts toward grounding your personal practice appreciated.

          2. “What how do you people”? Huh? You need to edit this tangled sentence…..and who are “you people” anyway?

      1. Holmes, what victims were Black? Was there any Black victims of Rittenhouse? Was the people that shot the Black kid found innocent? How is it that in your racist mind white guys killing a Black kid were convicted and a white kid killing white guys was not?

        It must be tough hating oneself so much.

        1. I don’t disagree but do not capitalize “black”, It is a color and not a proper noun. The Left is destroying the English language word by word and you are falling into their PC/wokester trap.

  7. ” While we speak often of our divided nation in this age of rage, ”

    1st off I don’t believe this country is in any way near as divided as JT & others suggested. JT & others seem to many as just stirring the pot to cause trouble.

    2nd the Rittenhouse case was a complete disaster for the US Judicial System, if we can still call it that!

    Right out of the gate with most of the videos made public, even without the illegal withheld videos of the FBI, within hours everyone knew Kyle was legally using self defence against the multi count Pedophile Felon & the rest of those Felon Criminals.

    Thus Kyle should have never been charged for any crime in the 1st Place!

    So in no way are the cases comparable.

    *****

    The McMichael case , I’ll need to read up on.

    People out here on the frontier still have a genetic memory of older generations hanging Horse Thieves without to many questions.

    Just look at all the recent mass daylight robberies of businesses. This can not & will not last.

    BTW Where in the hell are the rest of thos 1/6/2021 Capital Rally, inculding all the other govt intel videos?

    Those 600 people rotting in a DC Commie Gulag I’m thinking would like to know this ThanksGiving!

    1. Oky says:

      “People out here on the frontier still have a genetic memory of older generations hanging Horse Thieves without to many questions.”

      Horse thieves were routinely strung up whereas murderers were not necessarily cuz some men deserved to be shot, but no horse deserved to be stolen.

  8. Adams was correct as you mentioned, although he didn’t foresee the representatives making a career of the office. And, that’s the problem with republics, they become corrupt because the repetitiveness succumb to corruption. Juries on the other hand, are one time events with different people at each jury. Imagine the same jury for four years straight with the opportunity for many more four years. That jury would become extremely corrupt, start lacking their total attention, with backroom deals on every case. Sound familiar? Yes, because that is what happens to the representatives in Congress. The only solution is a term limit; but how can that happen when the same people vote on the law?

    1. + how do you term limit the bureaucracy that actually runs the government and more and more have been shown to operate outside the structure and oversight of our elected government.

      1. 3/4ths of the states can pass a Term-Limit Constitutional amendment for elected federal office holders without need for the federal government to weigh in. Perhaps the amendment could apply to any federal position that makes policy while they’re at it.

      2. Term limiting employment in certain jobs or employers would be easy, for govt employment. No constitutional issue such as what sank efforts to term limit Congress. Just need to define exactly what you want to do, then get the votes to do it.

      3. Perhaps without career politicians the bureaucrat will be shrunk. At our current state no one in congress has any appetite to rein it in.

  9. Righteous conviction. Agreed, Turley. Should be noted that the Arbery case had a judge who behaved in a much more seamless manner as well. Agreed on the strengths of the system writ large.

    eb

      1. I’d say his banning the use of the term ‘victim’ wasn’t a strong moment. And his jury instructions appeared to be truly awful.

        1. They weren’t victims were they? They were the aggressors.

          The jury instructions are instruction on black letter law. The Jury instructions are debated by the Prosecutor and the Defense. If something was truly awful, the Prosecutors would have objected and gotten changes.

          1. The were anarchist thugs, criminals. that got exactly what was coming to them. Proof positive that you do not bring a skateboard to a gun fight….especially if you are the one that started it. ‘Nuff said. No need to keep trying to justify the obvious and placate the whacked out, insane Left with ‘woke’ words.

        2. THey weren’t victims, they were assailants, but that term would have equally prejudiced the jury as well. Neither was appropriate during the trial.

    1. The judge was fine. He actually favored the prosecution because he never made a decision on behalf of the defense for their motions. The prosecution on the other hand will be fighting prosecutorial misconduct charges.

  10. I see this being appealed. The first 2 prosecutors who reviewed evidence declined to bring charges in this case. + jury was under a tremendous amount of external pressure to convict and possible threatened. Per fed case I haven’t seen any evidence this interaction was racially motivated.

    If you look at the national crime statistics, overwhelmingly the biggest threat to a black man is another black man, and yet local, state, national LE, community leaders, elected leaders are doing nothing, in fact ignoring this crisis.

    Following link provides a timeline of this case;

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ahmaud-arbery-shooting-timeline-case-n1204306

    1. “…The first 2 prosecutors who reviewed evidence declined to bring charges in this case…”

      One former prosecutor on the case has since been indicted for allegedly using her position to discourage police from making arrests after Arbery’s murder. Another district attorney on the case took more than a month to reveal his conflicts of interest in the case, and called the shooting “justifiable.”

  11. Professor Turley mentions that the defendants could be tried in federal court on hate crime charges. I do not understand how hate crime statutes have not been struck down for violating the first amendment. Laws against hate crimes clearly seek to punish someone for wrong-think. Certainly a person cannot be prosecuted for merely hating someone, even if he openly avows his hatred. And if he commits a crime because of his hatred, how is the crime any worse because of his hatred? As despicable as his reasons may be for his hatred, those reasons, on their own, are protected by the first amendment. Obviously, if he commits a crime, his hatred may be raised to establish motivation, and thereby help convict him, but his hatred should not be used to make his punishment greater than it would be upon conviction absent any evidence of hatred.

    1. Federal hate crimes were passed as a means to exact accountability after State trials ended in unjust acquittals (jury nullification).

      I think there is an argument at some point to abandon hate crimes when the States demostrably no longer tolerate jury nullifications and false acquittals.

      Are we there yet? Did the D.A. Jackie Johnson think she could get away with exonerating these 3 and covering-up their guilt?

        1. Most prosecutorial misconduct nowadays is in the other direction, deciding NOT to even prosecute despite evidence of crime.
          Like happened in this case. Hate crime laws are there to counter zero-jeopardy. But, since all 3 were convicted of felony murder, and this judge is clearly a straight-shooter and can be trusted with sentencing, I see no point in federal hate crimes being pursued in this case. Like you, I’d like to see federal hate crime laws sunset at some point.

          1. My point was not that federal hate crime laws are bad policy. My point was that these laws are unconstitutional. You cannot justify an unconstitutional law as necessary to remedy disagreement with state enforcement of state law. Your argument just leads to federalization of all criminal law.

            1. My point was not that federal hate crime laws are bad policy. My point was that these laws are unconstitutional. You cannot justify an unconstitutional law as necessary to remedy disagreement with state enforcement of state law. Your argument just leads to federalization of all criminal law.”
              ***************************
              Of course, they are. They are race pandering pure and simple. Any unjustified act to harm is evil unto itself. The motivation for it is irrelevant unless the product of a diseased or deranged mind. However, it makes the hate crime proponents swell with pride that they are doing something for race relations. They aren’t. Playing favorites in the law is dangerous business that undermines the process.

      1. as a means to exact accountability after State trials ended in unjust acquittals (jury nullification).

        There is no such thing as an unjust aquittal. Unless you can prove jury tampering. Even then, there is little to do to overturn an acquittal. Juries have plenary power to rule. They can decide the facts. And, Juries can define the law. Judges make a big point to instruct the juries they must follow the law as written. That’s false juries are not bound by the law.

  12. The Arbery case brings out 4 mental mistakes that we can learn from:
    1.) The elder McMichael had some difficulty giving up the habit of exercising authority when he retired as a cop
    2.) Many white and Asian Americans privately over-associate being black with criminality, which the media does nothing to counter
    3.) Guns. When you fantasize using guns in self-defense, you unconsciously prime to misread conflict, and you pose a deadly threat to others without being self-aware of it.

    The 4th mental mistake was made by Jackie Johnson, who as Glynn Co. GA D.A. almost got away with covering up this murder, and defrauding the victim’s family as part of the cover-up, as well as ordering 2 police investigators to “stand down”. She will have to face the music, and it won’t be easier now that a jury has established the criminality that she ignored to the presumed benefit of Greg McMichael and his son. She is innocent until proven guilty (or pleads so).

    D.A.s have gotten away with injustices galore for centuries, and it could be we’re finally ready to attach criminal accountability to these powerful positions. That’s progress worth celebrating.

      1. If you throw shade on any black American based on these statistics, then you are permitting yourself statistical racism, where you hold a person in suspicion based upon skin color who is a law-abiding citizen. Do you not see how destructive it is to think that way, especially after these 3 defendants made that same mental mistake, and it has cost them their freedom?

        1. then you are permitting yourself statistical racism,

          Labor law uses statistics all the time to fine companies for not having the “proper” statistical representation in their labor force.

          I also always tike to remember when The Notorious RGB was sitting before the judiciary committe at her appointment hearing. A senator asked RGB how many minorities, and women she had hired as clerks. Because the number was zero. Funny what you can do with statistics.

        2. I think it’s a case of if the shoe fits…

          Lets face it, acknowledging the problem is the 1st step to addressing it, and the urban black population has a problem particularly with its young males. Is it the culture? Is it the music? Is it the very high proportion who do not grow up in a stable nuclear family? Is it the lack of positive male role models?

          I don’t know. What I do know is it’s a terrible waste of potential talent and to flippantly chalk it all up to “racism” is a cheap way of society washing its hands.

    1. “ 2.) Many white and Asian Americans privately over-associate being black with criminality, which the media does nothing to counter”

      They counter it all the time. It’s one of the reasons why the Black Lives Matter movement grew.

  13. The video evidence was indeed pivotal in both cases.

    I only watched part of the trial, but questioning of Travis McMichael illustrated the men were the aggressors. Regardless of his purpose in continuing to be there, his connection if any to the robbers, or his past history, Arbery did try to retreat many, many times.

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