The jury selection for the murder trial of Ahmaud Arbery ended on Wednesday (Nov. 3). The three men claiming responsibility for the killing were William “Roddie” Bryan Jr, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael. CNN and other outlets report that eleven whites and one Black person make up the 12-person panel.
Nevertheless, he permitted the final jury panel to proceed despite acknowledging the jury was largely white and saying there appeared to be racial discrimination in the jury selection.
In this case, the court has determined that intentional discrimination has taken place.
Over two and a half weeks ago, the jury selection began for the 3 men trial.
Judge Walmsley accepted the defense’s reasoning for dismissing certain jurors after two hours of arguments by the defence. According to CNN, this took more than two hours.
The racial overtones in this case have become one of the challenges recognized by counsel in this case. “This is a conversation that I feel will continue for quite some time,” Walmsley said.
According to the judge, the defense only needs to provide good reason for dismissing potential jurors, and they succeeded in providing a legitimate, nondiscriminatory, reasonable, and specific reason.
During the trial in which her son is charged with murder, Wanda Cooper-Jones, whose son Arbery is, expressed shock at only one Black juror serving on the jury.
She said, “You know, that was catastrophic.”
The jury selection was also discussed on Twitter by users following the case.
It’s not only that only a single Black juror has been seated in the trials of the three men accused as the killer of Ahmaud Arbery. “It’s the fact that the judge refused to address the fact that the defense chose jurors intentionally discriminatory,” one user tweeted.
Three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery will have their fate decided by 1 black juror and 11 white jurors yesterday. The jury should be representative of its community, and yet Black jurors were deliberately excluded from the case to shield this cold-blooded killer from punishment! Human rights advocate Ben Crump offered his thoughts on the case.
Besides malice murder and felony murder, McMichaels and Bryan are accused of aggravated assault, illegal imprisonment, and illegal attempt to conduct a false imprisonment in Arbery’s death. Furthermore, the three men face charges of federal attempted abduction, hate crimes, and using a firearm during a violent crime.
Bryant, a black 25-year-old man who tried to block the white father and son who chased Arbery with his truck, videotaped the action and killed him.