Jury asked to review evidence in Arbery murder trial: Live updates
Brunswick, Ga. — In his closing argument this week, Gregory McMichael’s attorney, Laura D. Hogg tried to persuade the jurors that Ahmaud Arbery should not be considered a victim.
Mr Arbery’s turning into a victim after the choices he made does not reflect the reality that he brought him to the Satila Shores neighborhood in his khaki shorts with no socks “to cover his long, messy toenails”.
Ms Hogg’s comments about Mr Arbery’s toes sparked outrage among many observers, who said they resembled a racist portrayal of a black man.
On Wednesday, the Rev. Al Sharpton echoed criticism, as he stood with Mr Arbery’s parents in front of the Glynn County Courthouse, where a jury is considering the fate of Mr McMichael and two other white men accused of killing Mr. Was being Arbery in February 2020.
“I have never sat in a courtroom where the victim was like an animal, talking about dirty toenails – as if he was not even a human, but an animal,” said Mr. Sharpton, who Said he heard during the hearing, “some of the most racist statements I’ve made in a court of law in decades that I’ve been out here.”
On Wednesday morning, Franklin J. Hogg, Ms. Hogg’s legal partner and Mr. McMichael’s co-counsel, sent a text message to a New York Times reporter addressing Ms. Hogg’s use of such language. Mr. Hogg noted that prosecutors had called Mr. Arbery a “jogger” in his opening statement, implying that his intention was to “jog” on the Stila shores on the day of his death.
Mr Hogg said the “only evidence” presented by prosecutors about Mr Arbery jogging was when he was caught on a surveillance camera fleeing a partially constructed house he was inside. Moments earlier, a neighbor had called the police to inform them of Mr Arbery’s presence in the house, which Mr Arbery had seen several times before.
Mr Hogg continued: “If anyone wants to refute that scant evidence presented at trial, to our jury who can actually jog – and do some, as we learned about them – they One may find this a reason to doubt the principle of the state. The ‘jogger’ should be reminded that this ‘jogger’ was wearing no socks and his feet were empty.”
Ms. Hogg, who has practice in Macon, is a well-known criminal defense attorney in central Georgia. According to her firm’s website, she is a former prosecutor and former president of the Macon Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
Ms Hogg’s comments have triggered intense conversation among some of her fellow criminal defense attorneys in Georgia. Their job is to serve as enthusiastic advocates for their clients. But some believe he crossed a boundary with his comments about Mr Arbery.
Atlanta criminal defense attorney Tanya Miller, who also served as a state and federal prosecutor, said Ms. Hogg’s remarks were “consistent with the dehumanization of blacks.”
Ms. Miller, who is Black, said that the characterization reminded her of the portrayal of black people in the film “Birth of a Nation”, in which “the black man is this monster, lurking, drooling, your ladies.” Waiting to steal it,” she said. “It’s a whistle.”
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