Clay and Buck

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Ahmaud Arbery Verdict: A Lot of Jail Time

24 Nov 2021

CLAY: It appears there may be verdicts coming down in the very short-term future here in the Ahmaud Arbery case down in Georgia. We will get you the updated details, may even be able to go live to those verdicts. Neither Buck nor I have followed this case, to be candid with all of you, anywhere near to the same degree as the Kyle Rittenhouse case. But it is a case that has received substantial amounts of national attention, and I know many of you have followed that case. Buck, who should we go to next?

BUCK: I think we should go to the judge in the Ahmaud Arbery trial. Let’s go to it.

JUDGE: Please hand your verdict forms to the sheriff.

CLAY: Handing the verdict forms over to the judge right now. The jury has convened.

BUCK: Three men, Clay, charged in Ahmaud Arbery’s death, are about to find out their fate from the jury. The judge is lining up the papers on it trying to get ready for the actual official recitation of the jury finding.

JUDGE: I’ll go ahead and address each one of these verdict forms separately. The first verdict form I have is the State of Georgia versus Travis McMichael. Mr. McMichael, please stand. Verdict is as follows: In the Superior Court of Glynn County, State of Georgia versus Travis McMichael, case No. CR 000433. Jury verdict form. Count I, malice murder. “We the jury find the defendant, Travis McMichael, guilty.”

GALLERY: (hooting)

JUDGE: I’d ask whoever made an outburst in the court be removed from the court, please.

BUCK: One guilty verdict just came down here, for everyone listening, for Travis McMichael for malice murder. Someone had an outburst, being removed from the court. We are live right now with the Ahmaud Arbery murder trial verdict. One guilty verdict just came down for Travis McMichael for malice murder. Clay, looks like they’re still trying to continue.

CLAY: So those are the verdicts coming in here, Buck, and obviously some of these are not-guilty verdicts, going to the particulars to what these guys did and how that applies in terms of their responsibility.

BUCK: But they were all just found guilty of murder, so they’re all murderers, essentially.

CLAY: The big picture here is they’re all going to go to jail for a long time in these cases. You just heard all of those verdicts coming down. And this story, I would imagine, will be greeted with a measure of support for this jury by the Biden White House as opposed to the jury in the Rittenhouse case. But I would say, in general, what the president should be saying is, “Juries deserve the responsibility and obligation to be able to do their job without the leader of the Free World trying to weigh in on what they should or should not do.” As citizens of the United States — and this is me speaking as a lawyer — we have the best justice system in the history of the world. It is imperfect. But in general, juries tend to get far more right than they do wrong. You and I have not watched this trial to the same extent that we did Rittenhouse.

BUCK: To be fair also, it wasn’t really possible. The two trials coincided at one point.

CLAY: Yes.

BUCK: And they were both being live streamed. So you wouldn’t have been able to watch them both or at least some parts of it. Also, I have to say, I thought this was going to be the verdict. I’m not surprised this is the verdict. The video in this case was damaging for the defendants as opposed to the video in the Rittenhouse case, which was entirely vindicating for Kyle Rittenhouse. The video showing Travis McMichael and the two others here was really… The headline here, so to speak, is all three found guilty of a murder charge. Travis McMichael found guilty on all counts, top to bottom. So there will be, I’m sure, a lot of further analysis and media discussion and scrutiny around this case.

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