Unlike the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, many conservatives sided with the prosecution in the Ahmaud Arbery case as they believed the actions of the three defendants were driven by race and that they acted as vigilantes.
While this can’t be completely disproven, the trial judge blocked major evidence, such as Arbery’s criminal and mental health records, that could have aided the defense.
Judge Walmsley ruled that evidence of Arbery’s troubled past was prohibited from the courtroom. While this may be unnecessary evidence in other cases, his troubled past had serious implications on how jury members would view his supposed innocent act of jogging through home construction.
Defense attorneys claimed that Arbery’s criminal record stretched back to 2013. The most crucial insight his criminal records show is that he “used running or jogging as a cover to commit crimes.”
The defendants’ attorney Robert Rubin pointed out that Arbery was even known as the “jogger” due to his pattern of dashing into convenience stores, stealing, and running away. In addition to this, Arbery was on probation for two crimes.
The first crime was due to carrying a handgun onto school property. The other crime was for fleeing police. His criminal records also show two separate police encounters in which Arbery threatened
and cursed at officers.
This evidence is troubling, as the jurors may have decided the case differently had they not been aware that Arbery frequently used jogging as a cover to commit crimes.
While vigilantism should not be supported, these blocked criminal records call Arbery’s “innocent jog” into question plus shouldn’t all Americans receive access to a fair trial no matter the crime?
The exclusion of this evidence definitely points to the filing of an appeal, which means that this case is far from over.
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