Three White Men Sentenced To Life In Prison For Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder

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A judge in Georgia sentenced Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan to life in prison on Friday for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was running through their mostly white neighborhood in February 2020 when they chased him down and killed him. Under Georgia law, murder carries a mandatory life sentence unless prosecutors seek the death penalty. For the judge, Timothy Walmsley, the main decision was whether to grant father and son Greg McMichael, 66, and Travis McMichael, 35, and their neighbor, Bryan, 52, a chance to earn parole. Arbery’s family had made powerful statements, asking Walmsley to show no leniency. Before sentencing, Walmsley said: “Ahmaud Arbery was hunted down and shot, and he was killed because individuals here in the courtroom took the law into their own hands.” Walmsley said Arbery left his home for a jog and ended up running for his life for five minutes as the men chased him in pickup trucks then cornered him. The judge paused for a minute, to help drive home a sense of what that time must have been like for Arbery. “When I thought about this,” he said, “I thought from a lot of different angles. I kept coming back to the terror that must have been in the mind of the young man running through Satilla Shores.” The McMichaels will spend the rest of their lives in prison. Walmsley ruled that Bryan could seek parole after 30 years, the minimum sentence allowed. Arbery’s mother said she suffered an intense loss made worse by a trial where the men’s defense was that Arbery made bad choices. “This wasn’t a case of mistaken identity or mistaken fact,” Wanda Cooper-Jones said They chose to target my son because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community. And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare or intimidate him, they killed him.” Marcus Arbery Sr, Ahmaud’s father, also addressed the court. He said: “When I close my eyes, I see his execution in my mind, over and over. I will see that for the rest of my life. “Not only did they lynch my son in broad daylight, they killed him while he was doing what he loved more than anything: running. That’s when he felt most alive, most free, and they took all that from him.” Arbery’s sister, Jasmine Arbery, described her brother as a positive thinker with a big personality. Weeping, she told the judge her brother had dark skin “that glistened in the sunlight” and “thick, curly hair and an athletic build”. “These are the qualities that made these men assume that Ahmaud was a dangerous criminal and chase him with guns drawn,” she said. “To me, those qualities reflect a young man full of life and energy who looked like me and the people I love Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski asked the judge for life without parole for the McMichaels and the possibility of parole for Bryan. But she said all deserved that mandatory life sentence. The McMichaels grabbed guns and jumped in a truck to chase Arbery, 25, after spotting him running on 23 February 2020. Bryan joined the pursuit and recorded video of Travis McMichael firing close-range shotgun blasts. The killing went largely unnoticed until two months later, when video was leaked, touching off a national outcry. The Georgia bureau of investigation arrested all three men. Too many black men have been killed in America including George Floyd. Racism is the reason i fear USA and other Asian countries, as a black man you can be killed simply because of your skin color

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