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H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 02:11 PM Nov 2021

Trials

“These are the times that try men's souls.”
― Thomas Paine, The American Crisis


A lot of people enjoy watching criminal trials. I'm one of them. Some are covered live, as cameras are allowed in many cases. I also enjoy watching film of old trials on youtube. It is interesting, sometimes fascinating, to listen to the duels between talented prosecutors and defense attorneys. There can be interesting rulings by judges. And one can often evaluate the honesty and accuracy of witnesses.

The media is incorrectly reporting that the jury agreed that it was self-defense. Actually, the jury determined that the prosecution did not prove that Kyle was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a huge distinction. It doesn't mean that the prosecutor did a poor job. What might seem obvious outside a court room has to be presented under the rules of evidence.

A good prosecutor might even have the crimes on film, but that doesn't mean it will be introduced in the trial. Even when films are introduced, a jury may not be convinced -- strange as that may seem. There are factors that even a good prosecutor may have no control over, and no ability to influence. That can include the judge.

One of those factors involves likability. It is a factor in many civil and criminal trials. It includes the parties, their attorneys, the judge, the victims, and even witnesses. It is something that definitely was in play in the Rittenhouse trial. For example, the lead defense attorney came across as more likable than the prosecutor, regardless of either's personality outside the courtroom. Some human beings were able to support Kyle, despite his being rather difficult to find likable. The likability of victims also comes into play.

I've read a number of internet comments saying, approximately: "This gives the alt-right license to shoot us." I think that for many, many citizens, this is not a new reality. For it has long been that way. Leaders like Gandhi and King made it clear that people in the movement might get arrested, go to jail, go to the emergency room, or even to the cemetery. People who march in non-violent marches advocating for peace take those risks. People out after curfew engaged in a variety of activities increase their risks, because other people who think they need a gun for self-defense still opt to make a series of bad choices that result in violence.

Most rational people would agree that jogging should carry fewer risks that confronting a coward with a gun. But that isn't always the case, as many here know. In the Ahmaud Arbury case, of course, a jogger was the victim of a coward with a gun. However, this case has the potential for a more satidfying outcome.

The judge appears to be fair in his rulings. The lead prosecutor is outstanding. I have been very impressed with her throughout the trial. The defense's low-point took place without the jury, when one lawyer was arguing that having black pastors sitting with the victim's mother might influence the jury. But the judge handled that very well.

The defense attorney's attempt to create likability can be best seen by comparing Travis McMichael's mug shot and how he appeared on the witness stand. He hadn't been arrested for DWI, and the mug shot cannot be mistaken for an optical low point. No, that is the real Travis, and that is his essence. He appears to be of the same species as the thugs that were planning to conduct a citizen's arrest of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer in the fall of 2020. Like them, Travis also appointed himself the judge and jury.

The defense has been weak. It is no more important that the father used to be a cop, or the son had been in the Coast Guard, than if they had once been in the Boy Scouts. Or the Junior Woodchucks.

In my opinion, while watching the closing arguments, it would seem that there is a good chance of the jury convicting the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbury. That was not the case in the Rittenhouse trial.

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Trials (Original Post) H2O Man Nov 2021 OP
"It would seem that there is a good chance of the jury convicting the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbury True Dough Nov 2021 #1
I think it looks good. H2O Man Nov 2021 #4
They better find the Aubrey killers guilty. jimfields33 Nov 2021 #2
I hope so. H2O Man Nov 2021 #5
+1. I think "reasonable doubt" had a lot to do with Rittenhouse verdict. Hoyt Nov 2021 #3
Unfortunately hamil Nov 2021 #6
Right. H2O Man Nov 2021 #7
Arbery killers are guilty Saoirse9 Nov 2021 #8
Yep! H2O Man Nov 2021 #9

True Dough

(17,576 posts)
1. "It would seem that there is a good chance of the jury convicting the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbury
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 02:14 PM
Nov 2021

My god, H2O Man, I sure as hell hope that's true. Anything short of a conviction would be a travesty!

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
4. I think it looks good.
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 05:45 PM
Nov 2021

The defense attorney representing the non-McMichaels just did the most to separate his client from "the other guys." He is the most obnoxious of the defene attorneys, and his closing argument was rather weak over all. But the one part that might help is if the jury views him as guilty of some charges, but not as guilty as the McMichaels.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
5. I hope so.
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 05:49 PM
Nov 2021

And I agree that there are many, many differences between the cases. Yet I'd note both include white guys who feel the need to carry loaded weapons while acting out their fantasies of being heroic semi-para-quasi-police soldiers. And, in boh cases, they shot people who died.

 

Hoyt

(54,770 posts)
3. +1. I think "reasonable doubt" had a lot to do with Rittenhouse verdict.
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 02:21 PM
Nov 2021

Personally, I would have convicted him simply for strutting down the street with a rifle dangling from his neck.

With Rittenhouse free, the lawmakers who allow gunz on the street should face some accountability at the polls. But I doubt they will.

Hope those who hunted Arbery from a pickup truck -- like an animal -- don't walk.

 

hamil

(8 posts)
6. Unfortunately
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 05:54 PM
Nov 2021

your conviction would probably be overturned since he didn't violate any laws in this particular case.

H2O Man

(74,030 posts)
7. Right.
Mon Nov 22, 2021, 06:00 PM
Nov 2021

I doubt the entire Rittenhouse jury thought it was definitely self-defense. "Reasonable doubt" is perhaps not clearly defined, but that's what the standard is. Imperfect, and might lead to results we disagree with, but I accept it. (Not that I'm given a choice!)

I also agree 100% about lawmakers.

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