Jurors Mistakenly Gained Online Access to Ahmaud Arbery’s Mental Health Records
An error on the Glynn County Courthouse website allowed potential jurors to wait Ahmaud Arbery access at trial to information that had previously been ruled inadmissible in court.
The information includes Arbery’s mental health records, which had been ruled inadmissible by the Superior Court judge Timothy Walmsley, The Associated Press noted earlier this month. However, as hundreds of potential jurors began logging into the courthouse’s website to confirm the time and day they are due to appear for the selection process, they were able to access all of the motions filed in the courthouse. ‘case.
Viewing the information would disqualify any potential jury member, as it includes both admitted and rejected evidence submitted to court since May 11, 2020. Glynn County recount VICE News, they are aware of the error and are currently working to find a solution.
“Display this information prominently and make it accessible to jurors with a single click, I would say that it is problematic”, professor of law Suparna malempatI told VICE. “When potential jurors have information that may or may not be admitted into the courtroom, jurors can be influenced.”
Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan each face nine criminal charges surrounding Arbery’s death in February 2020. Charges include murder and forcible confinement.
The three-man’s defense team had asked to enter Arbery’s criminal record to justify the McMichaels’ decision to confront Arbery, whom they believed to be linked to break-ins in the area. They also requested the use of his mental health records to talk about his state of mind on the day he was killed.
However, Judge Walmsley denied the motion, noting that Bryan and the McMichaels are the ones on trial, not Arbery.
Former Atlanta District Attorney Melissa Redmon, tells VICE that as problematic as it may be that these pre-trial motions remain available online, she doesn’t anticipate it will disrupt the jury selection process.
“You will still have to show that they actually accessed the information and that the defendants were harmed by it,” Redmon said. “You have to ask the juror to say that ‘I have accessed information. I have read it and have taken it into account in my deliberations.
With an unprecedented 1,000 potential jurors being selected, a clear start date for the actual trial has yet to be set.