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Prosecutors in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers explain why they had faith in the jury despite its racial makeup

Linda Dunikoski, Cobb County senior assistant district legal professional, instructed CNN’s Jim Acosta that after jurors had been chosen, her group “realized that we had very, very smart, very intelligent, honest jurors who were going to do their job which is to seek the truth.”

“We felt that putting up our case, it doesn’t matter whether they were Black or White, that putting up our case that this jury would hear the truth, they would see the evidence and that they would do the right thing and come back with the correct verdict which we felt they did today,” Dunikoski stated.

Nine White ladies, two White males and one Black man served on the jury, based on a CNN evaluation of juror knowledge. Historically, all-White juries in instances the place White individuals are concerned in the deaths of Black males outcome in acquittals, based on students and regulation specialists who spoke to CNN about the trial of Arbery’s murderers.
The racial makeup of the jurors was reminiscent of the Jim Crow period and shortly drew comparisons with the aftermath of Emmett Till’s demise, when an all-White jury in 1955 acquitted the two males arrested for Emmet’s slaying, specialists stated.
'A jury should reflect the community:' The racial breakdown of the jury for the trial for Ahmaud Arbery's killing
But not like the trial of these two White males in 1955, the three White males in 2021 had been all discovered responsible on a number of homicide counts.
Race did play a big position in this trial, however prosecutors didn’t handle it as a lot as the protection did. At one level throughout closing arguments Monday, Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael’s attorneys, prompted outrage in the courtroom for citing Arbery’s toenails.

“Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long, dirty toenails,” Hogue instructed jurors.

Larissa Ollivierre, Cobb County assistant district legal professional, instructed CNN Wednesday she felt unhealthy for Arbery’s mother and father after Hogue’s statements.

“I think the comments were unnecessary and they were low, and I just feel bad that Ahmaud’s mom and dad had to sit there and listen to all of those things,” Ollivierre stated.

A lawyer in the Arbery death trial tried to keep Black pastors out of court. So more than 100 showed up today
And then there have been the feedback by Kevin Gough, legal professional for William “Roddie” Bryan, who repeatedly objected to nationally acknowledged civil rights leaders presence at the trial to assist Arbery’s household.

“We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here … sitting with the victim’s family trying to influence a jury in this case,” he stated.

Dunikoski stated Gough’s feedback about Black pastors — although made with out the jury current — had been strategic.

“Mr. Gough is a very, very good attorney, and he purposefully and intentionally and strategically, I believe, did what he did in an effort to attempt to insert potentially some error into the case in case he lost the case and it went up on appeal,” she stated.

Even although race performed an enormous position in and out of doors of the courtroom, Dunikoski stated she hoped what folks took away from this trial was that oldsters in the same state of affairs would belief the course of and advocate for his or her baby.

“Wanda Cooper-Jones and Marcus Arbery (Arbery’s mother and father) were advocates for Ahmaud, and they really pushed this one when it first happened,” she stated. “And I think the message is that you have to let the criminal justice system work and, in this case, yes, it did work, and to trust, which they did, they trusted us, and they trusted this team to bring justice for them and their family, but to trust the system of the constitution and due process just to let it work.”

CNN’s Christina Maxouris, Travis Caldwell, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Devon M. Sayers, Alta Spells, Steve Almasy, Nicole Chavez and Brandon Tensley contributed to this report.

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