BRUNSWICK, Georgia. – As the jury for the trial of three men accused of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery deliberated inside the Glynn County courthouse on Tuesday, clergy, activists and community members gathered gathered outside.
Religious leaders of different faiths and the entire community gathered around 5:30 p.m. for a vigil, which was hosted by Glynn Clergy for Equity.
Over a hundred people prayed, sang hymns and lit candles.
Rabbi Rachael Bregman, along with Temple Beth Tefilloh, is a member of the Glynn Clergy for Equity and has been outside the courthouse throughout the trial.
“These are quite uncertain and anxious times everywhere and especially here. As we wait for this verdict to be released, we know there will be a big backlash regardless of that verdict, and we as the clergy are here to take care of everyone, ”Bregman said.
Kawanza Dukes and her 12 year old son came from Texas.
“Through tragedies like this we can all come together and I hope the truth prevails,” Dukes said.
The group prayed for the jurors, Arbery’s family and the community. The group also stressed the importance of patience, as people from near and far eagerly await the verdict.
“I think one thing we need to do is have a little patience. I heard someone over there say, ‘I hope this is quick justice.’ And I said, ‘We want this to be fair. We want it to be true, and sometimes it takes a long time, ”said Minister Jane Page, of the Unitarian-Universalist Church.
Jurors deliberated for about six hours without reaching a verdict. The panel received the file around noon.
After initially indicating that they wanted to work until late in the evening, the jurors were quickly removed from their duties by the judge with instructions to resume deliberations on Wednesday morning.
The panel assesses the prosecution’s arguments that the defendants provoked the fatal confrontation against the insistence of defense lawyers that their clients acted in self-defense.
After more than two weeks of testimony and argument, the prosecution had the final say as it bears the onus of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
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