Prosecutors in the trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers explain why they trust the jury

Linda Dunikoski, assistant district attorney for Cobb, told CNN’s Jim Acosta that after the jurors were selected, her team “realized that we had very, very smart, honest jurors, who will do their job to seek the truth.”

“We felt that putting our case, it doesn’t matter if they were Black or White, that giving our case to a jury would hear the truth, they would see the evidence and that they will do the right thing and come back with the exact judgment we feel they did today,” Dunikoski said.

Nine White women, two White men and one Black man serve on a jury, according to a CNN analysis of jury data. Historically, all-white juries have been implicated in Black deaths, according to academics and law experts who have told CNN about Arbery’s murder trial.
The racial makeup of the jurors was reminiscent of the Jim Crow days and quickly drew comparisons to the aftermath of Emmett Till’s Death, when an all-white jury in 1955 acquitted two men arrested for the murder of Emmet, experts say.
& # 39;  The jury should reflect the community: & # 39;  Jury racism in the trial of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery
But unlike the trial of those two white men in 1955, the three white men in 2021 are All were found guilty of multiple counts of murder.
Race played a key role in this trial, but prosecutors did not address that issue as much as the defense did. At one point during the arguments that ended on Monday, Laura Hogue, one of Gregory McMichael’s attorneys, sparked outrage in the courtroom. for fixing Arbery’s toenails.

“The victimization of Ahmaud Arbery after the choices he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in khaki shorts with no socks to cover his long and dirty toenails. me,” Hogue told the jury.

Larissa Ollivierre, an assistant district attorney for Cobb, told CNN Wednesday that she feels bad for Arbery’s parents following Hogue’s statements.

“I think the comments are unnecessary and they’re low-key, and I just feel bad that Ahmaud’s mom and dad have to sit there and listen to all that,” Ollivierre said.

An attorney in Arbery's execution tried to keep Black pastors from going to court.  So more than 100 showed up today
And then there are the comments of Kevin Gough, the attorney for William “Roddie” Bryan, who many times protest against the presence of nationally recognized civil rights leaders at the trial to support the Arbery family.

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

Dunikoski said Gough’s comment about Black pastors – although made without a jury present – was strategic.

“Mr Gough is a very, very good lawyer, and he was purposeful, purposeful and strategic, I believe, he did what he did in an attempt to try to insert some error. potential into the case in case he lost the case and it went up on appeal,” she said.

While race plays a huge role in and out of the courtroom, Dunikoski said she hopes what people learn from this trial is that parents in similar circumstances will trust the process and advocate for their children.

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