Verdict Arbery: What is the murder of Malice?
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A jury on Wednesday found three men guilty of murder in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, but although all defendants were charged with “malicious murder,” only one man, Travis McMichael, was convicted of the charge.
Finding Mr. McMichael, the man who shot Mr. Arbery in February 2020, guilty of that charge, the 12 jurors concluded that he had deliberately intended to kill Mr. Arbery.
The jury acquitted Travis McMichael’s father, Gregory McMichael, as well as their neighbor, William Bryan, of the charge, suggesting they did not believe either of the men intended to kill Mr. Arbery. But jurors have still found the two men guilty of murder under Georgia’s “Criminal Murder” law, which allows a person to be convicted of murder if the person causes someone’s death by committing a crime. another crime.
Malicious murder and criminal murder carry the same penalty – life in prison – although a judge will decide whether either of the men will have the option of parole. The jury’s acquittal of Gregory McMichael and Mr Bryan for malicious murder could be factored into the judge’s decision to allow them to seek parole in the future, experts have said, although it is taken is one of a multitude of factors.
Sarah Gerwig-Moore, a professor at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Ga., Said without hearing from the jurors themselves, it’s hard to know the reasons Travis McMichael was convicted of malicious murder.
“These tea leaves are difficult to read,” Ms. Gerwig-Moore said, adding: “Because Travis McMichael was the man who shot Ahmaud Arbery, there’s a chance the jury might have considered him the main aggressor, and that can be one way there is this distinction in guilt.
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