The defense attorney for William 'Roddie' Bryan has spent the overwhelming majority of the Ahmaud Arbery trial complaining about people of color in the courtroom and protesting outside the courtroom.
Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Monday evening, former federal prosecutor Charles Coleman, defense lawyer Kevin Gough may be trying to plant a seed in the head of someone marginally racist in an effort to score a hung jury.
"Well, from the technical aspect of the trial what you're looking at is the defense attorney attempting to create a record for appeal," Coleman explained. "What he is trying to do is basically put on the record anything that he can around this issue in order to try to preserve that record so that when and if his client is convicted he will have an appeal. But I think there's a broader conversation to be had. Ultimately when the facts are not on your side you resort to these sorts of tactics as a hail Mary to appeal to the lowest common denominator of what you see in that jury."
He noted that a key understanding for trial attorneys is understanding the audience. That's why he's trying to use dog whistles.
"People have to understand, one of the first rules of being a trial attorney is understanding your audience," he continued. "You have to know your audience. And at this point what you have seen from the defense attorneys, not just Mr. Gough but also will George McMichael's defense attorney today, is the decision to put down the whispering and the dog whistle and pick up the bullhorn. And that's what you saw when you saw Jordan McMichael's defense attorney today literally make references to Ahmaud Arbery that described him almost as though he were a runaway slave."
He noted that it's a sense of white entitlement that has extended into the actual merits of the case.
"I believe that they are aiming to actually trigger something that is latent within one of the jurors so that they can get somebody who's a holdout and ultimately get a hung jury," Coleman concluded. "Because it's important to remember they only need one. They don't need everybody to be on the same page. They just need one for a hung jury and he walks."
See the full conversation below:
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