Jury selection is underway in the trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. During the first day of jury selection, the defense and prosecution battled to determine which questions jurors could and could not be asked. More importantly, attorneys debated whether or not the answers that potential jurors gave would disqualify them from participating in this case. According to ABC News, attorneys asked questions pertaining to the following topics:
- Knowledge of Arbery's murder
- Attitudes on race and the Black Live Matter movement
- Whether they can remain impartial
During the initial round of questioning, WRDW reports that at least potential jurors told Judge Walmsley that they already have "formed" or "expressed" an "opinion in regards to the guilt or innocence of the" three men accused of killing Arbery. At this time, it's unclear how answering in the affirmative would impact those potential jurors' ability to participate in the case.
While questions were being asked inside the courthouse, prayer was being offered outside of it. A number of church leaders gathered in support of those struggling during the trial.
“We realized that we needed it in the aftermath of this terrible event, and that to get through it together as a community we would need it. So a group has been gathering in different configurations, intentionally building relationships. We wanted to make sure that the tone for this trial was one of unity and peace,” Rev. Tom Purdy of Christ Church Frederica told WRDW.
Elsewhere, members of Arbery's family waited patiently for updates regarding the jury selection process. Arbery family attorney Ben Crump called day one of jury selection the "first step" in a "long journey" to justice.
“It’s very important, it’s the first step in the journey to justice. It’s been a long journey. You have to think how many obstacles we had to overcome to get to this moment,” Crump said.
Day two of jury selection will kick off today in the Glynn County Courthouse on Tuesday. The court has summoned approximately 1,000 people for jury duty and expects to get through about 600 potential jurors this week. Initial reports suggest that the entire jury selection process will take up to two weeks.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
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The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
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