Intentional Discrimination in Georgia State Murder Trial
November 3, 2021
Cited article by Oliver Laughland, The Guardian
A judge in Georgia stated that there appeared to be "intentional discrimination" in the jury selection for the trial of three white men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. The seated jury consisted of 11 white members, and one black member after the defense attorneys struck nearly all the black members from the jury. The original jury pool consisted of 48 people, 12 of which were black. In the county where Arbery was killed, Glynn county, the population is approximately 69% white and 26% black.
Arbery, 25 years old, was killed while jogging in Satilla Shores, Georgia, in February 2020. Eyewitness footage was made public shortly before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Three men have been charged with the murder, claiming that they suspected Arbery of being involved in a series of burglaries. The men pursued Arbery in a pickup truck, and while attempting to corner him in a roadway shot him three times with a shotgun. The men are pleading not-guilty for murder and are arguing they acted in self-defense and were legally justified in pursuing Arbery.
HRRC is highly concerned by the lack of representation in jury selection, which could yield discrimination in the ruling over Arbery's death. It is of utmost importance that the selected jury remain unbiased, and that future jury selections be more representative, especially in such racially-motivated legal cases.