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Old 05-07-2020, 02:40 PM   #1
Kelhus100
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Ahmaud Arbery Killing -- 3 charged with murder

So, I saw the Ahmaud Arbery killing, and it definitely appears a crime occurred, but from a legal perspective it isn't obvious to me what the killers, Gregory and Travis McMichael, should actually be charged with that there is a reasonable chance they would be found unanimously guilty by a jury of their peers.

It appears in Georgia it is actually legal for civilians to chase after unarmed people with guns in order to make a citizens arrest? (This seems like a Georgia Fail as much as anything) Is this actually true?

And then at the end the video it does appear Arbery tried to reach for gun to wrest it away, at which point there was a struggle where he was shot 3 times.

With the information we have, from Arbery's perspective it seems reasonable for him to assume his life was in imminent danger and trying to disarm Travis McMichael was his best option.

But taking what the McMichaels say at face value, that they were just trying to do a citizen's arrest until the police arrived (which seems to be corroborated by a call they made to police while they chased Arbery), once Arbery tries to disarm Travis it seems reasonable that Travis assumed his life was in danger and firing in self defense was legally warranted.

I understand where all the outrage is coming from. But from a real world legal perspective what is the actual legal play? I noticed that both Biden and Bernie Sanders tweeted on the issue demanding justice, but they were very light on specifics how exactly to go about this through the legal system.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

The video I saw ends with what looks like two people wrestling over a gun. Does it end right then because Arbery is shot at that point? I guess it would make a difference in the sentencing phase if Arbery actually got the gun away from him. But yeah, lol, Georgia law. Guy is dead because of the actions of those two.
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

According to wikipedia Georgia doesn't have 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree murder but "Murder, Felony murder".

2010 Georgia Code: TITLE 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES; CHAPTER 5 - CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON; ARTICLE 1 - HOMICIDE

Quote:
16-5-1. Murder; felony murder

(a) A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.

(b) Express malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take the life of another human being which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. Malice shall be implied where no considerable provocation appears and where all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

(c) A person also commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.

(d) A person convicted of the offense of murder shall be punished by death, by imprisonment for life without parole, or by imprisonment for life.
Quote:
16-5-2. Voluntary manslaughter

(a) A person commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter when he causes the death of another human being under circumstances which would otherwise be murder and if he acts solely as the result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person; however, if there should have been an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, of which the jury in all cases shall be the judge, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and be punished as murder.

(b) A person who commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years.
Quote:
16-5-3. Involuntary manslaughter

(a) A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act when he causes the death of another human being without any intention to do so by the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony. A person who commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.

(b) A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner when he causes the death of another human being without any intention to do so, by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. A person who commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor.
And Georgia's hate crime laws are non-existant as of 2004.

Quote:
State laws
46 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are Arkansas, Georgia, whose hate crime statute was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2004,[7] South Carolina, and Wyoming). Each of these statutes covers bias on the basis of race, religion, and ethnicity; 33 cover disability; 33 of them cover sexual orientation; 29 cover gender; 22 cover transgender/gender-identity; 14 cover age; 6 cover political affiliation.[8] and 3 along with Washington, D.C. cover homelessness.[9]
.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_c..._United_States
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Old 05-07-2020, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Daily mail has links to a longer edit of the video than most other sites. It shows 3 shots going off during what appears to be the men wrestling each other for the gun, and then Arbery stumbling and falling down. (The confrontation starts off camera because it is behind the truck, but based on his momentum it does appear Arbery was trying to wrestle the gun away from the other guy, which wouldn’t even be unreasonable given the guys were chasing him down in a truck and then pulled guns on him)

But Yeah. Given Georgia’s laws it is not clear what the charge would even be.
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Old 05-07-2020, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

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Originally Posted by Kelhus100 View Post
But Yeah. Given Georgia’s laws it is not clear what the charge would even be.
Spoiler:
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:20 PM   #6
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Just sort of skimmed and don't know anything about this. How about manslaughter?
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:44 PM   #7
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

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Originally Posted by Luckbox Inc View Post
Just sort of skimmed and don't know anything about this. How about manslaughter?
Well question 1 is whether involuntary manslaughter would be good enough for all the people demanding justice? One of the guys running for president of the United States just tweeted it was cold blooded murder in his opinion. Seems like it is hard to be ok with manslaughter once you go out on that bridge.

And then the second issue is that manslaughter conviction requires demonstrating McMichael was doing something unlawful.

As absurd as it sounds, it really does seem that there are circumstances where it is perfectly lawful in Georgia for a civilian to chase someone down, who had not committed any violent crime or posed any imminent threat, with a gun and hold them at gunpoint. And it seems the crux of a potential case would be whether McMichael's actions up to the point Arbery tried to wrestle the gun from him were lawful or not.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like voluntary manslaughter from what I read.
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:52 PM   #9
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

saw the video, the dude was jogging, I dont know all teh details and what have you but i dont get why they tried to stop him.

I hope more gets shed to light and justice is served.

didnt seem like the jogger was committing a crime at all
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:16 PM   #10
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelhus100 View Post
Well question 1 is whether involuntary manslaughter would be good enough for all the people demanding justice? One of the guys running for president of the United States just tweeted it was cold blooded murder in his opinion. Seems like it is hard to be ok with manslaughter once you go out on that bridge.

And then the second issue is that manslaughter conviction requires demonstrating McMichael was doing something unlawful.

As absurd as it sounds, it really does seem that there are circumstances where it is perfectly lawful in Georgia for a civilian to chase someone down, who had not committed any violent crime or posed any imminent threat, with a gun and hold them at gunpoint. And it seems the crux of a potential case would be whether McMichael's actions up to the point Arbery tried to wrestle the gun from him were lawful or not.
Cite?

Quote:
A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:28 PM   #11
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Random post on a Georgia gun forum, not the most credible source but a clue pointing to the possibility that one can not simply go around arresting people at gun point all willy nilly.

Quote:
Q: Can I hold intruder/vandal at gunpoint?
A: Pointing a gun at a person implies that you are about to shoot them.
Would you be able to legally shoot them for vandalism?
Would you be able to legally shoot them for fleeing from such a crime rather than submitting to your citizen's arrest?
NO, and NO.

So if you can't legally use your gun in such a situation, can you "bluff" them and threaten them with death by gunfire by brandishing the gun? No. You could be charged with "aggravated assault" which is a major felony.

(Now many citizens would assume that any time you can arrest somebody you can do it at gunpoint, like cops do, but that's technically not true. You might get off on the sympathy of your fellow citizen-jurors, but it's really risky).
https://www.georgiapacking.org/threa...npoint.237035/
Also, Georgia has a stand your ground law, but it would be in favor of Ahmaud Arbery if he were carrying, since he was the one ambushed at gunpoint. It doesn't seem logical that the stand your ground law could be invoked as a defense by the one's who initiated the threat in the first place.

Last edited by wiiziwiig; 05-07-2020 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:37 PM   #12
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

https://************news.com/news/lo...d44193343.html

Quote:
Gregory McMichael told county police he and his son grabbed guns from Travis McMichael’s house and pursued Arbery after seeing him running down the street, according to the police report.
Yeah, going home to get a gun and then pursuing someone seems like it would be hard to justify.

Quote:
Greg McMichael worked as an investigator with the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for more than 20 years before retiring last May. He served seven years as a Glynn County Police officer prior to that.
That's going to make it hard to try to say he didn't know any better.

Looks like a self defense case to me.
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Old 05-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #13
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Yeah. That is fair. I don't know whether pointing a gun at someone would constitute a lawful component of a citizen's arrest in Georgia. If it is, that seems like a real bad idea, especially in a world where there is surveillance everywhere and there is a reasonable chance the police could find the person down the line if it was warranted.

Also, I am not sure your interpretation of "stand your ground" laws is correct, but I really don't know.

It will be interesting to see if the original DA was really justified in not pursuing the case per Georgia law, or if he was breaking the law by covering up a very serious crime to help out a friend.

Last edited by Kelhus100; 05-07-2020 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:16 PM   #14
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

I worded that a little funny. What I meant is that Arbery would have been justified in defending himself against the three men under the "stand your ground" law.

It also, at least to me, wouldn't make sense that the McMichael's could use the "stand your ground" law as a defense when they are the ones who posed the threat in the first place, especially if it is considered aggravated assault in Georgia to approach a citizen's arrest at gunpoint and that they did not actually have "reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion". Running into their homes to get weapons could also be considered a form of premeditation.

I'm sure both sides will claim self-defense but it would be difficult to prove Aubrey was attempting to wrestle the shotgun away in order to shoot all three men, one with a pistol pointed directly at him. It seems more probable that Aubrey was simply trying to disarm the guy with the shotgun.

The video is pretty damning evidence, I suspect the son goes to prison for a very long time, the father gets 0-5 years, a bunch of people get fired, and the family get's a lot of money in a civil suit(not sure if a civil suit is possible here but there are clear signs of corruption due to the father being ex LEO).
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

I don't get why they were chasing him. I have not heard anything about the guy committing a crime. If there is no evidence a crime was committed by Arbery, in conjunction with no evidence indicating the chasers were aware of this crime, it's murder. They assaulted the guy, and that's a felony, and someone died during that assault, which makes it murder under GA law, and both chasers are culpable.

Quote:
TITLE 16 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 5 - CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
ARTICLE 2 - ASSAULT AND BATTERY
§ 16-5-20 - Simple assault
O.C.G.A. 16-5-20 (2010)
16-5-20. Simple assault


(a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either:

(1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or

(2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.
This is what promotes it to a felony:

Quote:
In Patterson v. State, 299 Ga. 491 (2016), the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Ricky Patterson’s conviction of aggravated assault with a weapon. It is important to note as the Court did in this case that aggravated assault has two elements: (1) commission of a simple assault and (2) the presence of one of three statutory aggravators. The statutory aggravators are: (1) intent to rape, rob, or murder; (2) use of a deadly weapon or an offensive weapon likely to or actually resulting in serious bodily injury; and (3) shooting towards people from a vehicle without justification. See O.C.G.A.
and this is what promotes it to murder:


Quote:
16-5-1. Murder; felony murder

(a) A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.

(b) Express malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take the life of another human being which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. Malice shall be implied where no considerable provocation appears and where all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.

(c) A person also commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice

Last edited by itshotinvegas; 05-07-2020 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:50 PM   #16
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

American media doesn't do a very good job of filling in the details. If you check DailyMail there is a lot more information of what really happened, including the police report.

Why the American media does such a bad job of presenting known information is of course because they are only interested in pushing a narrative, and not interested in actually telling the full story. But that is a matter for a different thread.

Anyways, the men chasing Arbery actually called the police while they were chasing him. Apparently, in their minds he was a burglary/trespassing suspect and in their minds that justified them chasing him and even trying to hold him at gunpoint.

This seems absurd at face value, and yet it seems the first DA actually agreed with this reasoning, so I was definitely interested in seeing if there is actually a justification in Georgia law that would make their actions justifiable.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:01 PM   #17
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelhus100 View Post
Anyways, the men chasing Arbery actually called the police while they were chasing him. Apparently, in their minds he was a burglary/trespassing suspect and in their minds that justified them chasing him and even trying to hold him at gunpoint.
What's in their mind is irrelevant. If they don't have evidence he committed a crime, it does not matter what they think. You can't assault someone because you think they committed a crime. They would have to have witnessed this guy committing a crime to get by with that defense.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:14 PM   #18
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

I'm not 100% clear on the facts or Georgia law, but if the McMichaels did not have an objectionably reasonable basis to believe Arbery committed a crime, then I can pretty much guarantee that Georgia law did not permit them to chase after him with guns. No state has a law that crazy.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:15 PM   #19
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Quote:
Originally Posted by itshotinvegas View Post
What's in their mind is irrelevant. If they don't have evidence he committed a crime, it does not matter what they think. You can't assault someone because you think they committed a crime. They would have to have witnessed this guy committing a crime to get by with that defense.
Did you read the police report? Lets say what they are claimed on the police report is completely truthful, and they did witness him burglarizing the vacant lot next door, and had evidence he had previously burglarized the lot. That still seems like GA would have to have some real wacky laws to legally justify their behavior.

And yet a DA already waved the case. So given this, either there is some serious malfeasance going on in the DAs office or Georgia really does have such laws.

I just wish our media took the job of journalism a little more seriously and was less manipulative, so we could get the real story. The fact I had to go to DailyMail to find the details I did says a lot about our media IMO.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

You could just read the New York Times.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:33 PM   #21
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

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Old 05-07-2020, 08:35 PM   #22
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

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Originally Posted by Huehuecoyotl View Post
You could just read the New York Times.
So you are ok giving the US online/Cable TV MSM a pass for continual shoddy journalism of US events that is consistently surpassed by an online British tabloid?
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:02 PM   #23
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

It’s puzzling that you don’t think the Daily Mail is a part of the media.
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:10 PM   #24
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

It turns out that Arbery is no angel

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Old 05-07-2020, 09:15 PM   #25
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Re: Ahmaud Arbery Killing (Murder?). Legally, what is the actual play? (Lawyer input appreciat

Wow, no wonder he got his ass beat.
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