November 24, 2021 Editor

All the Lawyers Who Stood Between Ahmaud Arbery and Justice

Every murder saga has its share of morally flexible defense lawyers or rogue prosecutors. But this crew stood out from the pack.

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WN: An enormous tragedy . . . A muted victory . . . A deepseated racism . . .

See too: Ken Sehested, Accountability for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, November 24, 2021. We read:

Then my mind traversed to the penal system’s dysfunction. Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan—all of whom will spend all or much of their lives in prison—will be delivered to a criminal justice institution where cruelty will compound suffering, both for inmates and correctional officers.

The penal system in the US is not constructed to enhance justice but to magnify and rationalize vengeance. Vengeance is the norm in prisons—not reform, not penitential encouragement, not preparing victimizers to rejoin productive roles in civil society.

Compounding violence is its rationale. Deepening pain is its mission. Perpetuating and escalating criminality is its result.


The three notorious white men caught on video chasing and fatally attacking Ahmaud Arbery last February are now officially convicted murderers.

But Gregory McMichael, his son Travis, and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan” are not the only villains in the gruesome case plagued by allegations of initial prosecutorial misconduct before arrests were made 70 days after the 25-year-old Black man’s shooting death in Georgia.

The prosecutors who won the case argued that Arbery was on a jog through Satilla Shores, a mostly white neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia when the trio chased him down the street after wrongly suspecting him of burglary. Travis McMichael was caught on video footage—filmed by Bryan—firing the fatal shots. ​The defense for the three men argued that they were trying to perform a citizen’s arrest on Arbery in connection with suspected break-ins in the area.

After nine hours and two days of deliberation, a Glynn County jury on Wednesday found the three men guilty of felony murder in the Feb. 23, 2020 homicide death of Arbery. But Arbery’s murder was almost never prosecuted. And when the case did make it to trial, defense attorneys stepped over themselves to engage in ugly arguments rife with racist innuendo.

Every murder saga has its share of morally flexible defense lawyers, and prosecutors who fail to protect the rights of people of color are not exactly hard to come by in America. But this crew stands out from the pack. (Emphasis added)

Please click on: The Defense Lawyers’ Spin


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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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