In opening statement in the trial of #AhmaudArbery’s killers, the prosecution is doing a masterful job of laying out the evidence to reduce any suggestion the defendants were protecting the neighborhood from burglaries (not a defense to murder btw) to the mere pretext it is
The prosecution has videotape of law enforcement telling the McMichael defendants that the owner of the construction site (where some items may have been stolen from a boat) has been using motion activated security cameras & Mr. Arbery never stole anything from his property.
911 call operator asks Greg McMichael what Arbery is doing wrong & he tells her … running down the street. He has no idea where Arbery is coming from or going, but he goes inside to get his gun & his son. “He’s running from somebody” he later told police.
Travis McMichael is captured on video questioning Arbery after the McMichaels, in their pick up truck, catch up with Arbery & ask a guy - who’s just out for a run & there’s no reason for them to believe anything else - what he’s up to. Arbery runs off.
The defendants attack on Arbery, initially using their trucks, is based on nothing other than…who he is & the defendants sense Arbery shouldn’t be in their neighborhood. Defendants’ statements express outrage Arbery tried to defend himself from the attack.

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More from @JoyceWhiteVance

22 Oct
A few links for those of you who want to get up to speed on New Mexico homicide (the killing of a person by another) law. Criminal homicide can be murder or manslaughter & typically, it's the killers state of mind that distinguishes the crimes 1/
Criminal law is statutory law. Different state codes are different so you have to start by reading the law. 1st degree murder in New Mexico can be premeditated, felony murder or "depraved mind" (think back to George Floyd).…
In New Mexico, essentially, other intentional murders are second degree. The statute requires proof the defendant "knows that such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to that individual or another." And there's a carve out for crimes of passion.
Read 6 tweets
7 Oct
In DOJ’s challenge to Texas’ anti-abortion law, The judge has just temporarily enjoined the law which means that, at least until the defendants can get on appeal to the 5th Circuit, the law and its ban on abortion after 6 weeks are no longer in force.…
The law has a confusing provision that purports to provide 4 years from the time a person has an abortion for vigilantes to file suit & to apply to procedures while the law is temporarily enjoined. That provision seems questionable, but that's SB8 in a nutshell.
Tx has appealed to the 5th Circuit, noting the case is "related to" Whole Women's Health, the earlier challenge to SB8 where the 5th stripped Judge Pitman's ability to consider the request for an injunction & setting up the SCOTUS ruling that let SB8 go into effect
Read 5 tweets
4 Oct
Anyone who’s studied our founding, hopefully all of us, understands how essential this principle, enshrined in the 1st Amendment, is. We must reject the imposition of Christian or other religious beliefs as vigorously as fearmongers have reacted to even a hint of other practices.
Remember Roy Moore? He was always worried about the imposition of Sharia law (even though it wasn’t actually being imposed).…
Even yoga has run into criticism under fear it introduces Hindu principles to young minds.…
Read 4 tweets
11 Sep
The 5th Circuit, which kept the trial court from considering Texas' abortion leading to the SCOTUS ruling issued an opinion: SB 8 emphatically precludes enforcement by any state, local, or agency officials. The defendant officials..are not amenable to suit…
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the 5th Circuit stayed the district court from acting in order to protect the defendants (judge, court official, person who wants to sue under SB8), without any concern for the women whose Constitutional rights it denied?
Impact of this: The 5th Circuit is expediting the cases, it will hear it on its next argument docket to decide whether there can be further proceedings in the district court or whether, as it implies, none of these defendants are proper defendants to sue…
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
1/ The win in @NAACP_LDF’s Florida challenge to a law that blocked exercise if 1st amendment rights show how Texas abortion case should have worked - the district judge should have been able to hold a hearing to determine if the statute was such a clear violation of rights that
2/ it should be blocked from going into effect to preserve the status quo while litigation continued. NAACP won that motion-bad law blocked. In Texas, the 5th Circuit Court took the case away from the trial court before their could be a ruling or even an evidentiary hearing.
3/ Texas’ law got to SCOTUS as an emergency appeal to keep the law from going into effect. Instead of blocking it to protect the clear right Roe establishes while litigation was ongoing, SCOTUS let the law go into effect, denying Texas women their rights.…
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
1/ When the AG & Solicitor General at DOJ sign off on a challenge to a state statute, they are very careful to ensure their theories are both legally valid (not a time to throw spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks & also to avoid doing harm to other rights. Case in point,...
2/when we challenged Alabama’s immigration law in 2011 we focused on developing challenges to specific parts of the law that were legally objectionable (not just a blanket demand that the law be expunged). Being smart meant we couldn't challenge everything…
3/ We also had to consider whether issues we raised could damage other important rights. For instance, we considered whether our case gave the court the chance to rescind Plyler v. Doe, which guaranteed a right to K-12 education to all children, not just citizens. Big focus.
Read 6 tweets

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