Ahmaud Arbery’s killers found guilty of hate crimes, kidnapping charges after trial focused on racist slurs and comments
The federal trial was the first to focus directly on racism in connection with one of the high-profile killings of Black people that sparked massive racial-justice protests in 2020. Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Bryan were accused of pursuing and confronting Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old, because he was Black. The McMichaels were also convicted of a weapons offense.
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The thing is, regardless of the sentencing yet to come, there can never be justice. Unless Ahmaud Arbery walked through the door with the jury that delivered the verdict, this is a wrong that can never be righted.
Keeping the murdering racists behind bars for life so they don’t ever do anything like this to anyone else, I think, is the closest thing to justice we as a society can hope for. It is the sentence in the state case (for two of them, anyway; one has the possibility of parole). But it still isn’t justice.
Ahmaud Arbery, 25
(image: still from video via CBS news)
Rest in Power, Mr. Arbery. You will not be forgotten, as long as I live.
“Keeping the murdering racists behind bars for life so they don’t ever do anything like this to anyone else, I think, is the closest thing to justice we as a society can hope for.”
Actually, I think this hate crimes conviction is the more important. Yes, having an acknowledgement by any of the seats of power in Racist America that this was a murder and not merely a citizen’s arrest gone a teeny tiny bit too far is a good thing, but to have a legal judgement that the white murderers were inherently wrong even before they began to act is a big slap up the side of the head for Racist America.
Iris Vander Pluym says
moarscienceplz: I agree that the hate crimes conviction sends one hell of a message that racist hate is wrong in and of itself, and will not be tolerated by our society. But I think it’s different from justice, at least as I conceive of it in this context. And of course Racist Americans run straight to their echo chambers to whinge about those dastardly librul judges destroying ‘Murikkka, and to elevate these “brave martyrs/patriots/Real Americans™. Still, the inevitable backlash doesn’t mean it’s not worth sending that message via these convictions. I worry, too, that an appeals court stacked with right-wing judges will not see it the same way, to say nothing of the Supreme Court!