Jurors are scared and express privacy concerns in high-profile trial.
In the murder trial of the three White Georgia men charged with killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, potential jurors are expressing concerns about remaining anonymous should they be seated on the jury.
Their particular worries are over the size of the community and intense public interest in this high-profile trial.
Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was out for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia, was shot and killed on February 23, 2020.
The three White defendants said they were conducting a citizen’s arrest on Arbery, who they suspected of burglary, and that Travis McMichael shot him with a shotgun in self-defense.
Bryan McMichaels, who recorded the video, allegedly hit Arbery with his truck after he joined the two other McMichaels in chasing Arbery.
After the shooting, the three men were allowed to leave the scene and weren’t arrested until the video of the incident was made public more than two months later, sparking worldwide outrage and nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice.
Out of the thousand people who received a jury summons, the judge in the case hopes to narrow the jury pool to a smaller group of 64, eventually getting down to 12 jurors and four alternates.
Multiple prospective jurors have told the judge they knew Arbery, the defendants, potential witnesses or some local figures involved in the case.
Some worry they will be identified as a juror in the media and fear they will face personal repercussions after rendering a verdict.
One prospective juror said that while she doesn’t know much about the case itself, she has seen Facebook headlines and “I run with Ahmaud” bumper stickers across town. She expressed concern about how polarizing the case has been among the community.
“I think it would be naïve to think there couldn’t be real world repercussions,” the woman said, adding she wouldn’t let fear stop her from trying to weigh the case fairly.Via CNN
Jury selection will resume today. All three defendants face life in prison if convicted.
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