After a long jury process in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery which started on Monday, a panel of 12 people were finally chosen. The jurors consist of 1 black and 11 white members.
The jury was selected after a two-and-a-half-week process. During this process, the prosecutors accused defense attorneys of disproportionately asking qualified black jurors questions surrounding race.
The Judge presiding over the case said, “This court has found that there appears to be intentional discrimination.”
The court heard arguments for more than two hours about why the defense struck potential jurors with race-related questions. However, the judge ruled that there were valid reasons beyond race for the potential black jurors being dismissed.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its Georgia chapter (CAIR-Georgia) expressed outrage over the racial makeup of the jury in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery’s alleged murder as well
In a statement, Javeria Jamil, CAIR-Georgia’s Legal and Policy Director said:
“It is outrageous that in a case in which racial bias led to the murder of Ahmed Arbery in the first place, the jury consists of only one Black juror. When the judge has already acknowledged the ‘intentional discrimination’ in jury selection, he should take steps to rectify the situation and empanel a new jury.”
Last year Arbery’s killing sparked national outrage after a viral video made his shooting public. The 25-year-old black man was jogging in Brunswick, Georgia on February 23, 2020, when he was shot by a son and his accomplice father.
The trial of the three white men charged with fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery as he was running in their neighborhood in February 2020 is underway as the jury selection process starts. Arbery’s killing invoked outrage in the summer of 2020 during a period of national protests over racial injustice.