Arbery’s father on new ruling: Travis McMichael deserves to “rot” in state prison. At a hearing that brought an end to more than two years of criminal proceedings, the father and son who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood each received a second life sentence in prison on Monday — for committing federal hate crimes, months after getting their first for murder.
The hearing was the culmination of a legal process that lasted for over two years. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood handed down the sentences. This is against Travis McMichael, 36, and his father, Greg McMichael, 66, while underlining the severity of the death. That is the murder that occurred in February 2020 and rocked the town of Brunswick. William “Roddie” Bryan, who was 52 years old at the time of the murder, was given a sentence of 35 years in jail. That is, for recording the incident on his smartphone.
“The body of a young man was found. Ahmaud Arbery will always be 25 years old. And the jury determined that what occurred to him happened due to the fact that he is black,” Wood stated.
The McMichaels had previously been found guilty of Arbery’s murder in state court. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. They had petitioned the judge to have their sentences transferred to a federal prison. This is because they feared for their safety in the state prison system. The judge denied their request. Bryan’s original plan was to begin serving his time for the federal offense first. Wood said no to each of the three requests.
Arbery’s father on new ruling: Travis McMichael deserves to ‘rot’ in state prison
The men who were responsible for the murder of Daniel Arbery were given their sentences on Monday. This brings an end to the second trial against them. The killing of Daniel Arbery, along with the slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, sparked a wave of protests across the country against the killings of unarmed Black people.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in a news release that the Justice Department’s prosecution of this case and the court’s sentences today make clear that hate crimes have no place in our country. Also, that the Department will be unrelenting in our efforts to hold accountable those who perpetrate them.
“Protecting civil rights and stopping white supremacist violence were two of the Justice Department’s most important goals from the beginning,” said Jeff Sessions. “We will continue to work on these goals with the urgency they require.”
McMichaels and Bryan were found Guilty
A federal jury found the McMichaels and Bryan guilty of violating the civil rights of Arbery. They came to the conclusion that they had targeted Arbery because of the color of his skin. Also, all three of them were found to be responsible for an attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels were also held responsible for using guns during a violent crime.
After Arbery went past the McMichaels’ residence on February 23, 2020, the McMichaels armed themselves with firearms. They utilized a pickup vehicle to give pursuit to him. A neighbor named Bryan, who joined the pursuit in his own vehicle, filmed it on his cellphone. This is as Travis McMichael shot Arbery with a shotgun. Bryan was involved in the pursuit. The McMichaels told the police that they thought Arbery was a burglar. However, when they looked into it, they found that he wasn’t armed and hadn’t done anything wrong.
Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told reporters outside of the courthouse, “I’m really thankful.” “This has been a drawn-out battle. I am very grateful to God for providing us with the strength to continue to battle.” This is after all three sentences had been handed down.
The hearings were the first time that the individuals involved in Arbery’s death acknowledged any form of regret to the family. Travis McMichael, who was the only person who could have spoken about what happened, decided instead to keep quiet. This is when you are offered the opportunity to speak in court.
Greg McMichael. Sympathizes with Arbery’s Family
The grief that Arbery’s family has suffered is “beyond explanation,” according to Greg McMichael.
He told her, “I’m sure my words mean extremely little to you. However, I want to tell you that I never meant for any of this to happen. Neither my heart nor the heart of my kid contained any ill-will toward anyone on that day.”
Bryan expressed remorse for his actions.
Bryan has stated that he “never intended any harm to come to him.” Also, that “if I knew then what I know now, I would never have played any role in what happened.”
Wood lowered Bryan’s sentence by pointing out that he didn’t have a gun with him. That is, when he chased Arbery and that he kept the video he took on his phone. This was important for the prosecution’s case.
Amy Lee Copeland, who represents Travis McMichael, said that a lighter sentence would be more consistent. This is compared to what similarly charged defendants have received in other cases. She pointed out that Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed Floyd in Minneapolis, was sentenced to 21 years in prison. This is for violating Floyd’s civil rights, even though Chauvin was not charged with targeting Floyd because of his race.
Greg McMichael’s lawyer, Arguements
Greg McMichael’s lawyer, A.J. Balbo, brought up the Chauvin punishment as well as his client’s age and health problems. This includes a stroke and depression, which Balbo said his client had.
During the trial for hate crimes that took place in February, the prosecution presented the jury with approximately twenty-four text messages and social media posts in which Travis McMichael and Bryan used racial slurs and made disparaging comments about people of African descent. This helped the prosecution strengthen their case that Arbery’s murder was motivated by racism.
Christopher Perras, the prosecutor, said that the evidence presented at the trial showed “what so many people felt in their hearts when they saw the video of Ahmaud’s horrible and pointless death: This would never have happened if he had been white.”
In January, a state Superior Court judge sentenced both McMichaels to life in prison without the possibility of parole for their roles in the murder of Arbery. Bryan was also given a life sentence for his part in the murder. After being found guilty of federal offenses, all three defendants have been detained in a jail in Glynn County, which is located on the coast, and have been turned over to the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
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The Georgia Department of Corrections
They will be handed over to the Georgia Department of Corrections so that they may serve their life sentences in state prisons because they were first charged with murder and convicted of the crime in a state court in Georgia.
Copeland argued, without success, for Travis McMichael to remain in federal custody. He claimed that McMichael had received hundreds of threats stating that he would be killed shortly after arriving at state prison and that his photo had been circulated there on illegal phones. Copeland’s argument was based on the fact that McMichael’s arrival at a state prison has been the subject of hundreds of “I am concerned, your honor, that my client effectively faces a back door death penalty,” she said, adding that “retribution and revenge” were not sentencing factors, even for a defendant who is “publicly reviled.” “I am concerned, your honor, that my client effectively faces a back door death penalty.”
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Marcus Arbery’s father, Marcus Arbery Sr., said that Travis McMichael was cruel to his son and should “rot” in state prison for what he did. He added, “You killed him because he was a Black man and you hate Black people.” The reason given was that you hate black people. “There will be no leniency shown to you.”
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