A Glynn County, Ga., jury convicted three men Wednesday of murder in the February 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery. It was the third dramatic murder trial this year—after those of Derek Chauvin and Kyle Rittenhouse—to attract national political attention. The challenge in our polarized times is to ignore the political narratives built around particular cases and focus, as the juries have done, on the facts and law.
This case presented an unusual question for the jury on the reach of Georgia’s citizen’s-arrest statute. The law empowered citizens with authority approaching that of law-enforcement officers to detain someone if they had “probable grounds of suspicion” the person is escaping the commission of a felony. (The statute has since been narrowed substantially.)