As we all know, the quarantine has reduced the crime rate quite a bit. In places like Georgia, where the stay-at-home order never really went into effect, some interesting (although infuriating) cases are still being prosecuted.
A father and son duo is charged with shooting and murdering an unarmed jogger by the name of Ahmed Arbery. Now that the case is in the news, it offers a rare insight into how things operate elsewhere in the country.
The two men charged with Arbery’s murder, Greg and Travis McMichael, appear to have ties to racist organizations like the KKK. However, two prosecutors have recused themselves from the case over ties to the McMichaels and a third stepped down for unknown reasons. McMichael was a former police officer and prosecutorial investigator.
The McMichaels saw Arbery jogging in what did not appear to be jogging apparel and, having heard that there were several burglaries in the area prior, decided to confront Arbery. That is when Travis McMichael says that Arbery attacked him and a struggle broke out for the gun. That is when Arbery was shot and killed.
If this sounds similar to the George Zimmerman case, that is because it is. Of course in Florida and in Georgia, both states have “stand your ground” laws. What does that mean?
In states like Illinois, self-defense can only be invoked if an individual had no opportunity to retreat. Yes, that is a bad law because it puts the onus on a frightened individual to keep their wits about them while they are being attacked. Stand-your-ground removes the duty to retreat and allows an individual to attack if they feel their life is in danger, or, legally, if a “reasonable person” in the same circumstances would believe their life is in danger.
Stand your ground laws are extremely far reaching and force the prosecution to prove that the defendant did not or could not have had a reasonable belief that their life was in danger. If there is any reason to believe that the defendant thought their life was in danger, the case will never even make it before a jury, at least in Florida.
What Will Happen?
It is very difficult to say. Both men have been charged with murder, but their ties to local law enforcement and organizations whose fundamental principles are racial hatred are troubling. Nonetheless, the prosecution has several hurdles to overcome. If McMichael confronted Arbery and Arbery began defending himself, that could be interpreted by a jury as an aggressive act which would justify a stand your ground defense. In other words, you can bait someone into feeling threatened, attacking, and then killing them. George Zimmerman proved that.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a major crime in the Chicago area, call Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and we will go over the evidence and build a defense to the charges. Do not say anything until you talk to us.