The trial is beginning for three men accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, and jury selection is underway. Unfortunately, a lot of people are refusing to show up, saying they’re afraid to serve.
A CNN update on Tuesday shared that over half of the potential jurors for the trial have refused to show up, with some saying they’re afraid to do so. The case has gotten national attention, especially as video leaked that showed two of the accused men cornering Arbery before his death.
The three men charged in Arbery’s death are Travis McMichael, his father George McMichael, and their neighbor William Bryan. The McMichaels say they suspected Arbery, who was jogging through the neighborhood, of entering a construction site, and they followed him to make a citizen’s arrest. Cell phone video shot by Bryan shows the two pursuing Arbery with Travis McMichael aiming a shotgun at him.
According to FirstCoastNews, the defense is already using the jury selection as an excuse, saying they can’t get a fair trial because not enough people of a very specific demographic are being included:
“It would appear that white males born in the South over 40 years old without a college degree… which he might also be known as Bubba or Joe Sixpack… seem to be significantly underrepresented,” said [Bryan’s defense attorney Kevin] Gough during jury selection Friday.
However, of those potential jurors who’ve shown up, some have already empathized with the accused. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that one potential juror said during jury selection that he felt the video only showed a portion of the story, and that he didn’t feel he could consider murder charges for all three defendants.
Despite the failure of so many to appear for jury duty, the selection is nearing the 64 qualified jurors necessary to move forward, and opening arguments in the case could happen this week.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com