criminal justice Kenny Stancil

Men Who Murdered Ahmaud Arbery Sentenced to Life in Prison

During the sentencing hearing, Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said that the three men who killed her son "chose to target [him] because they didn't want him in their community."
[Aelin Elliott / CC BY 2.0]

By Kenny Stancil | Common Dreams

Three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery last year in Georgia were sentenced Friday to life in prison, and the judge denied parole to the father and son who armed themselves and hunted down the 25-year-old Black man.

According to the Associated Press:

Murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison under Georgia law unless prosecutors seek the death penalty, which they opted against for Arbery’s killing. For Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley, the main decision was whether to grant Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, an eventual chance to earn parole.

“The judge ordered both McMichaels to serve life without parole,” the news outlet noted, while Bryan, who filmed the deadly pursuit of Arbery, “was granted a chance of parole, but must first serve at least 30 years in prison.”

During the sentencing hearing, Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said that the three men who killed her son “chose to target [him] because they didn’t want him in their community. They chose to treat him differently than other people who frequently visited their community.”

“And when they couldn’t sufficiently scare or intimidate him, they killed him,” she said. “They have no remorse and do not deserve any leniency.”

Wajahat Ali, a columnist at The Daily Beastsaid Friday after the sentencing that the three convicted murderers “lynched Ahmaud Arbery and almost got away with it if it wasn’t for the video that was leaked.”


  1. Justice served in the Deep South, but sadly will not bring back a beautiful young man or assuage a mother and father’s grief and that of his family. As Rev Wright said, “God damn America!”

  2. Let us celebrate this bit of good news. Some semblance was done in this case. Let us also understand that this is the rare exception. Murder with impunity of people of color continues to be the generally accepted practice in this hypocritical Country which falsely pretends to be the land of “justice for all”. Our legal and justice system is a very bad joke which is shaped to serve the ruling elites and to keep the people under tight control, especially those who are not privileged to have white skin. This is not a “post racist society”. It is a society of hypocrisy, ignorance and indifference to the terrible suffering of the majority of its people.

  3. Justice prevailed in this case. Perhaps other racists who want to kill for fun just because they think they can, will think twice.

  4. If the US Constitution “holds these things to be self- evident, that all men are created equal”, the Constitution must be rewritten to make it explicitly evident that if you don’t treat others as equal, you will be punished.
    While it is being rewritten, the re-framers could put in a clause about people having the right to bear arms except where there is already a standing army in place. Perhaps they could also rule on the merits of having 170 or more military bases worldwide, and on what proportion of national income may be spent on defense without triggering, so to speak, a right in Congress to go through everything and shut much of it down. Eisenhower, known in Europe as a military man, warned about this, but did anyone listen? The re-framers might be called the Eisenhower commission, acknowledging the task before them built into the origins of his surname.

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