Members of the Georgia House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation that eliminates citizen's arrests. Previously, legislature regarding citizen's arrests allowed everyday residents to arrest someone they suspect is committing a crime. Recently, this type of legislature was used to defend the actions of Gregory and Travis McMichael. Last year, the two men suspected Ahmaud Arbery of committing a crime as he jogged through Glynn County. After pursuing Arbery, the McMichaels approached the young man and killed him. In the aftermath of Arbery's death, the McMichaels were arrested and charged with felony murder. Legal representation for both Gregory and Travis have seemingly used citizen's arrest statutes to defend themselves legally. This most recent move by the Georgia House of Representatives will shake up their case dramatically.
“Ahmaud was a victim of vigilante-style of violence that has no place in Georgia,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said.
“And some tried to justify the actions of his killers by claiming they had the protection of an antiquated law that is ripe for abuse.”
While the Georgia House of Representatives was passing legislation to end citizen's arrests statewide, the Georgia Senate was passing laws to expand voter suppression. Passed by a vote of 29-20, SB 421 will end no-excuse absentee balloting. Through this legislature, eligible voters must submit a photo ID and have a witness sign off on the ballot for it to count. Ironically, expanding absentee balloting was initially a Republican effort. In the aftermath of Sens. Warnock and Ossoff winning seats in Washington, D.C., the bill is expected to pass in the House and be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.
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