Arbery Verdict: What is Malice Murder?

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U.S.|All 3 men were convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, but lone 1 was convicted of ‘malice murder.’

Nov. 24, 2021, 2:56 p.m. ET

Nov. 24, 2021, 2:56 p.m. ET

Travis McMichael testifies arsenic  helium  is cross-examined by authoritative   Linda Dunikoski.
Credit...Pool photograph by Sean Rayford

A assemblage recovered 3 men blameworthy of execution connected Wednesday successful the sidesplitting of Ahmaud Arbery, but though each defendants were facing a complaint of “malice murder,” lone 1 man, Travis McMichael, was convicted connected that charge.

In uncovering Mr. McMichael, the antheral who fatally changeable Mr. Arbery successful February 2020, blameworthy of that charge, the 12 jurors recovered that helium had deliberately intended to termination Mr. Arbery.

The assemblage acquitted Travis McMichael's father, Gregory McMichael, arsenic good arsenic their neighbor, William Bryan, connected that charge, suggesting that they did not judge either antheral intended to termination Mr. Arbery. But jurors inactive recovered some men blameworthy of execution nether Georgia’s “felony murder” statute, which allows a idiosyncratic to beryllium convicted of execution if the idiosyncratic causes someone’s decease portion committing different felony.

Both malice execution and felony execution transportation the aforesaid maximum punishment — up to beingness successful prison, successful this lawsuit — truthful the jury’s acquittal of Gregory McMichael and Mr. Bryan connected malice execution is improbable to interaction their situation term.

Sarah Gerwig-Moore, a prof astatine Mercer University School of Law, successful Macon, Ga., said that without proceeding from the jurors themselves, it is hard to cognize their reasons for lone uncovering Travis McMichael blameworthy of malice murder.

“It’s hard to work those beverage leaves,” Ms. Gerwig-Moore said, adding, “Because Travis McMichael was the antheral who changeable Ahmaud Arbery, there’s a accidental that the assemblage could person seen him arsenic the superior aggressor, and that whitethorn beryllium 1 mode there’s that favoritism successful guilt.”

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