Political Rewind: Sentencing in murder of Ahmaud Arbery; A look at social justice in Georgia
Family and friends of Ahmaud Arbery gathered to mourn his death and pray for three guilty verdicts in October prior to the November conviction. The group retraced Arbery’s final steps down Satilla Drive where the young man went on his last run. The trial pushed Brunswick, Ga., into the national spotlight — a spotlight many in the community dread. Credit: Riley Bunch, GPB News
Elijah Bobby Henderson — Co-founder, A Better Glynn
Margaret Coker — Editor-in-Chief, The Current
Patricia Murphy — Columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tiffany Williams Roberts — Public Policy Director, Southern Center for Human Rights
1. Judge Timothy Walmsley sentences Greg and Travis McMichael to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- Judge Walmsley issued the sentences this afternoon, following our 9 a.m broadcast.
- Last November, Travis McMichael was found guilty of all nine counts against him, including one count of malice murder and four counts of felony murder. Travis' father, Greg McMichael was found not guilty of malice murder. But he was convicted on the other eight counts, including four counts of felony murder.
- Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
2. Meanwhile, a federal hate crimes trial of the three men is scheduled to begin next month.
- Jury selection in the hate crimes trial is scheduled for Feb. 7. The trial will determine if Travis and Gregory McMichael and William Roddie Bryan violated Arbery's civil rights, unjustly pursuing and threatening him on a public street because he was Black.
- The trial will include a jury drawn from a pool of 1,000 residents beyond Glynn County.
The Current's Margaret Coker said a jury pool from a wider geographic area of Georgia is only one of the differences in the federal hate crimes trial set to begin in February.
3. While media attention largely remains on the trial, community organizers in Glynn County push for structural changes and concrete reforms for working-class residents.
- A Better Glynn is a new community organization with a stated aim of increasing civic engagement among local working-class communities and advocating for their needs,
- The nonprofit's goals include informing residents about elections and organizing voters to hold elected officials accountable.
Co-founder Elijah Bobby Henderson said as evidence of racial animus comes forward in the federal trial, A Better Glynn's mission will continue to be to make a difference in the lives of working-class residents.
4. Frustration at slow movement of federal voting rights laws promised by the Biden administration.
- Next Tuesday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to visit Atlanta to push for federal legislation protecting voter rights.
- Opposition from Republicans left the federal voting rights legislation stalled in 50 to 50 in the Senate, where Democrats lack the 60 votes need to overcome a filibuster. Biden and fellow Democrats have been under extreme pressure by advocates of the bill to change Senate rules to eliminate or weaken the filibuster, but moderate Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona oppose the changes.
Next week on Political Rewind:
Dr. Audrey Haynes, Jim Galloway and Dr. Tammy Greer are set to join our panel Monday.
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