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Judge in Arbery case to decide whether defendants get parole

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Judge in Arbery case to decide whether defendants get parole

Three men convicted on Wednesday for the murder of Ahmed Arbery should be sentenced to life in prison according to Georgia law, and a judge will decide whether they can be considered for parole in 30 years or if they are jailed. I shall die.

All three men – Travis McMichael; his father, Gregory McMichael; and their neighbor William Bryan – were taken to the Glynn County Jail after being convicted of murder in the fatal shooting of Mr Arbery of Travis McMichael in February 2020.

Each defendant faced one charge of malice and four counts of felony. The jurors only convicted Travis McMichael of the charge of malice murder, meaning they concluded that he intended to kill Mr. Arbery. He acquitted the other two men on that charge, but found them both guilty of a felony, which applies when someone commits a felony and causes someone’s death.

Both types of murder charges carry the same punishment, which requires the judge to receive a life sentence, but allows the judge to decide whether the defendant should be given the opportunity of parole. Even if the judge grants the possibility of parole, defendants would not be eligible under Georgia laws unless they have been in prison for up to 30 years. Both charges could also result in the death penalty, but prosecutors did not demand it in this case.

Judge Timothy R. Walmsley, who oversaw the trial, will decide the men’s sentence after the hearing, which has not been determined. At the hearing, prosecutors and attorneys for the men will be able to argue for their preferred punishment, and Mr Arbery’s relatives can also make victim impact statements in court.

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“The judge has looked into the whole matter,” said Sarah Gerwig-Moore, a professor at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Ga. “There is evidence that the jury never heard that the judge did, and he could have taken the sentence into account.”

In sentencing men, the judge will consider a variety of aggravating and mitigating factors. Experts said it was unlikely that the jury’s decision to acquit Gregory McMichael and Mr Bryan on the malice murder would have a serious impact, although the judge may take into account that it was Travis McMichael, not the other two men. who pulled the trigger.

“The fact that they didn’t actually shoot can be considered,” says Melissa D. Redmon, a former prosecutor in Fulton County, Ga., who is now an assistant professor at the Georgia School of Law. “Yet, under the law, they have the same fault.”

Even though the judge allows any man after the age of 30 to seek parole, Ms Redmon said, it is rare for people serving life sentences to be granted parole as soon as they are eligible. At that point, people serving those sentences were considered for parole at least every eight years.

The three men, all of whom are white, are also facing federal hate crime charges after Justice Department prosecutors accused them of interfering with the authority of Mr. Arbery, who is black, because of his race. Reasons to use the public road. He also accused all three men of attempted kidnapping, and he accused Travis and Gregory McMichael of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm. The test is scheduled for February.

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