Kathleen Hartnett White
“To question a racial epithet is to encourage and support racial violence.” – Actress Danny Glover
“It’s one thing to say, ‘This is what he wanted.’ It’s another thing when you have a white colleague who was offended by the epithet, then when it is pointed out that that’s the correct idiom to use. Then it seems odd that he would not want to accept the correctness of the wording or use it.” – Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen and Danny Glover discussed the prosecution of the jury in the Arbery case at the Producer’s Guild Awards. Photo: Darren Decker/AP
“This is the tragedy of America at this moment, that’s what it is. There is a new bitterness, a new fear, a new anger as well. People are afraid and they’ve forgotten how to play together.” – Danny Glover
Photographer Darren Decker says the jury wasn’t racist. Photo: Darren Decker/AP
After four hours of deliberations, and with no verdict declared, Craig Arbery was handed the first murder conviction of a 21-year-old South Whitehall Township man who carried out a triple killing during a planned robbery in November 2016.
Craig Arbery was delivered the first murder conviction of a 21-year-old South Whitehall Township man who carried out a triple killing during a planned robbery in November 2016. Photo: Darren Decker/AP
When the jury sent a note to announce it wasn’t unanimous in its verdict, District Attorney James Martin sought to counsel them on deliberation rituals. It was clear that was not what he wanted to hear.
“I was not discouraged by the jury verdict,” Martin said Tuesday as he spoke to reporters outside the courthouse in Allentown. “Obviously, they’re a big group of people, and they feel a lot of things, and for many of them, a lot of us, that verdict was not what they wanted.
“It’s a jury of 12 that can reach different verdicts. But when there are two separate groups, there is no possibility that there will be a unanimous verdict. That’s just the way it works,” Martin said.
“What I did want to say to them, and I told them that in my brief conversation with them before the judge’s rulings that were issued, is to question this term that a verdict is unanimous because it isn’t unanimous. The majority, when it’s not unanimous, is nothing more than a plurality.”
Arbery’s attorney, Mark Geisser, said the jury found him guilty of three charges.
“They said ‘guilty on all three of the charges,'” Geisser said outside the courthouse. “I think it was only as a rule of thumb they wanted the death penalty if it were capital murder.”
But Martin indicated he was not ready to turn down the death penalty.
“I don’t want to say there are not going to be discussions about the death penalty,” Martin said. “I want to be careful about saying that.”
Two of three defendants pled guilty to the charges.
“I think they learned something here,” Martin said. “I think that it certainly helped them understand a little bit more what the jury might do. I think they did a really good job of moving them with the evidence.”
Martin said he hoped for “positive transition” from those who witnessed the trial.
“I hope they share that with my constituents,” Martin said. “That their constituents are not going to go to sleep and feel that they are not safe.”