• Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Georgia Defense Attorney Tries to Murder Ahmaud Arbery's Reputation

Friends, I have to apologize for the content of this story on a Monday morning and give a Confederate trigger warning for a story that includes racism, murder, and cannabis.


THE SCOOP

Where were you when you heard the brutal news that Ahmaud Arbury, an unarmed 25-year-old black man was killed on February 23, 2020 while jogging in broad daylight in Glynn County, Georgia?


Where did you carry that rage? That pain? The shame that in the 21st century, three white men* corralled a black man with their vehicles, then gunned him down while he fought for his life with his bare hands?


How did it hit you when the Glynn County District Attorney advised the police department to make no arrests... and then three subsequent Georgia DA’s recommended the same – no charges?


Thankfully for the soul of humanity (as opposed to the cesspool of the undead confederacy), one of the killers released a video of the killing which was posted May 5th and went viral instantly and finally, 74 days after the killing, the three white men were in custody, and the FBI was invited to lead the investigation.


The reason this story is relevant a year and a half later in November 2021 is that pre-jury hearings are being held, where lawyers present their evidence to the judge, who then decides what can and cannot be said in front of the jury.


And just last week, the defense tried to use cannabis as a reason that Arbery was responsible for his own death.


Follow up story: "Father of Ahmaud Arbery’s Killer: ‘I Would Have Shot Him Myself"


THE DEEP DIVE


My source for this story is from video from the trial, which I’ve transcribed since I can’t show it (but you can watch via the link). When you watch, you'll notice the camera is focused the whole time on Judge Timothy Walmsley, who to my eye is straight from central casting: not quite Fred Gwynne from "My Cousin Vinny", but certainly the requisite stately middle aged white guy on a Southern bench.


The defense lawyers for the accused tried one of the oldest reefer madness tropes in the book. Sounding remarkably like Ted Cruise at his silky smarmiest, he claimed that " ... at the time of the conflict, Mr. Arbury had THC in his system," and that a toxicologist would testify that the THC in his system "corroborates frequent use of marijuana." (such a test does not exist).


To fully recognize what he’s suggesting, especially by using the term "Marijuana" instead of "cannabis," let’s remember the original rules of Reefer Madness from the 1936 film and other sources at the time: that Marijuana makes the user

  • insatiably sexual,

  • incurably insane, and

  • uncontrollably violent.

At that same time, Harry Anslinger is reported to have led the charge to Prohibition with statements that are so racist I can’t even speak them.


So race and violence are the foundation of the fear-inducing mythology of reefer madness.


The defense attorney continues in an innocent voice: "Now the question becomes, could it cause potentially aggressive behavior, combative behavior, confrontational behavior?"


He pauses for effect and says "Yes ... the expert says Yes."


The judge then allows the State to rebut. The prosecutor calls for Motion to Eliminate the evidence as irrelevant, and tears down this defense piece by piece:

  • "We’re hearing a lot about potential behavior at the time of conflict, and is there a connection between a minute amount of marijuana that could cause aggression…"

  • "Why Mr. Arbury did what he did is irrelevant… that's not the questions, it’s what the defendants did."

  • "And they’re talking about whether it made him aggressive, combative and confrontational. That is for the jury to decide. This is on video, they can determine it."

THE LOOP BACK

Judge Timothy Walmsley indicating that the Court has ruled against defense counsel's Reefer Madness gambit.

The video goes silent while the judge shuffles his papers and considers his ruling.


And finally, he says “the Court has issued an extensive order to disallow Mr. Arbery’s mental health records, and since this THC information would clearly be used in the same way, the Motion-to-Eliminate this evidence is granted.”


Thank goodness, clear heads have prevailed on this nonsense.


* (The American Cannabis Report will not print the defendants' names.)




IMAGE SOURCE:

Ahmaud Arbery: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Ahmaud_Arbery

Judge Timothy Walmsley: https://pot.tv/video/2021/11/05/reefer-madness-tactic-in-murder-trial/

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