A Mistake By The Court Could Lead To A Mistrial In Ahmaud Arbery Case

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The county court handling the murder trial of the three white men accused of gunning down Ahmaud Arbery made a mistake on its website that could expose potential jurors to evidence they're not supposed to see.

In a matter of clicks, potential jurors looking up times and days they are due to report to the Glynn County Superior Court had access to evidence –– including Ahmaud Arbery's mental health history –– banned by the judge. If any of the potential jurors saw the information, they would be ineligible to sit for the case, Vice News reported.

If any of the jury candidates read the suppressed evidence and were selected, it could be grounds for a mistrial, though legal experts told the outlet that it's unlikely.

"Prominently displaying that information and it being accessible to jurors with just a click of a button, I would say is problematic," Suparna Malempati, a John Marshall Law School professor told Vice. "When potential jurors have information that may or may not be admitted in the courtroom, the jurors may be influenced."

Jurors had access to all of the motions filed so far in the case, including the Confederate Flag vanity plate on one of the men's trucks, how many times Gregory and Travis McMichael fired their guns. A judge has yet to make a ruling on that evidence being submitted in the trial.

According to The Washington Examiner, Glynn County Superior Court Clerk Ronald Adams said, "We are aware of that [website] issue, and the decision about that will be made by the judge,"

Jury selection has dragged on for three days in the case and this is only complicating the process. Nearly 1,000 possible jurors are expected to be considered for the 12 slots. Six hundred showed up on the first day of jury selection Monday (October 18). On day two of the proceedings, the judge overseeing the case, Judge Timothy Walmsley called for attorneys to speed things up.

By day three, Wednesday (October 20), attorneys struggled to agree on jury candidates, with one possible juror telling attorneys he was "sick of it" after he was asked about his opinion on the case.

Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available: 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

For more mental health resources, click HERE

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