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Ahmaud Arbery Verdict Announced: 3 Found Guilty of Murder

Western Journal

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Three men charged in the high-profile death of Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty Wednesday.

“Thank God,” Theawanza Brooks, Arbery’s aunt, said as verdicts were read, according to The New York Times. Another aunt, Diane Arbery Jackson, said softly, “This is amazing.”

Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery, was found guilty of all the counts against him. These were: malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. He faces a minimum sentence of life in prison, but prosecutors are expected to argue for a sentence of life in prison with no parole.

Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael’s father, was found guilty of four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. Jurors found him not guilty on charges of malice murder, according to Fox News. He could be sentenced to life in prison with no parole.

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William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., was found guilty of three counts of felony murder and three other charges. He was found not guilty of malice murder. He was found not guilty of one count of felony murder and one county of aggravated assault. Bryan was accused of filming the encounter between the McMichaels and Arbery. He could be sentenced to life in prison with no parole.

According to Fox News, malice murder takes place when someone “unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.” No premeditation is required.

Felony murder comes into play when an individual, while intentionally committing a felony, kills someone.

The Brunswick, Georgia, jury began deliberations Tuesday.

“The absence of a viable claim of self-defense” was key to the convictions, according to CNN legal analyst Laura Coates.

“Even when Travis McMichael took the stand and said, ‘No, he never threatened me. No, I don’t recall him trying to take the gun. No, he never shouted at me.’ How could you possibly make a case at that point for self-defense?” Coates said

Arbery’s family jumped, clapped and cried out as the verdict against Travis McMichael was read, according to the Times.

Gregory McMichael initially told police that they pursued Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020, because they thought he was involved in the recent burglaries in the area and Arbery had attacked them, ABC News reported.

The case drew national attention when a video circulated the internet and spurred anger across the country.

As The Associated Press reported in a summary of the footage, “The cellphone video, initially posted by a Brunswick radio station, shows a black man running at a jogging pace on the left side of a road. A truck is parked in the road ahead of him. One man is inside the pickup’s bed, and another is standing beside the open driver’s side door.

“The runner crosses the road to pass the pickup on the passenger side, then crosses back in front of the truck. A gunshot sounds, and the video shows the runner grappling with a man in the street over what appears to be a shotgun or rifle. A second shot can be heard, and the runner can be seen punching the man.

“A third shot is fired at point-blank range. The runner staggers a few feet and falls face down.”

During deliberations Wednesday, a firestorm raged outside the courtroom over comments made Tuesday by Laura D. Hogue, a lawyer for Gregory McMichael who during her closing remarks said on the day he was killed, Arbery wore no socks “to cover his long, dirty toenails,” according to the Times.

“I’ve never sat in a courtroom where a victim was akin to an animal, talking about dirty toenails — like he was not even a human, but an animal,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who claimed the trial featured “some of the most racist statements made in a court of law in the decades that I’ve been out here.”

Franklin Hogue, Laura Hogue’s law partner, provided context for the comment by saying that the prosecution had implied Arbery was in the neighborhood to jog, something for which he said the only evidence presented was that Arbery had been captured by a surveillance camera running from a house that was under construction.

“If one wants to rebut that scant evidence presented at trial, then for those on our jury who may actually jog — and some do, as we learned about them — they may find it a reason to doubt the state’s theory of ‘jogging’ to be reminded that this ‘jogger’ was wearing no socks and had unkempt feet,” Franklin Hogue said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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NYT Writer Argues Adoption More ‘Dangerous and Potentially Traumatic’ Than Abortion in Op-Ed

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On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centers around Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after the fifteenth week of pregnancy.

With a conservative majority in the Court, the right’s pipe dream of overturning Roe v. Wade, or at least rolling back abortion rights, appears to be within reach. Naturally, this development has escalated the public debate over what is, arguably, the most divisive issue of our time.

An op-ed in The New York Times written by Elizabeth Spiers, a Democratic digital strategist who was adopted as an infant, argues that adoption is “infinitely more difficult, expensive, dangerous and potentially traumatic than terminating a pregnancy during its early stages.”

She criticizes Justice Amy Coney Barrett for suggesting that “adoption is some kind of idyllic fairy tale.” Spiers writes, “My own adoption actually was what many would consider idyllic. I was raised by two adoptive parents, Alice and Terry, from the time I was an infant, and grew up in a home where I knew every day that I was loved. A few years ago, I found my biological mother, Maria, and three siblings I didn’t know I had via a DNA test and Facebook.”

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“The first time I spoke to Maria on the phone — she lives in Alabama, not too far from my parents, and I live in Brooklyn — she apologized repeatedly for giving me up and told me she loved me and that I would always be family. ‘You are blood,’ she would say later. I told her, and continue to tell her, every time she brings it up, that the apology is unnecessary. I had a wonderful childhood and I believe she had made the right decision. But she remains heartbroken about the years we missed together.”

Spiers “resent[s] being used as a political football by the right. I believe that abortion is a form of health care and that every woman should have access to it if she needs it … I resent it on behalf of Maria, who found the choice she made traumatizing and still feels that pain, 44 years later.”

Does Spiers think Maria would be less traumatized if she had aborted her?

Maria had several children already and felt it would be too difficult financially and perhaps emotionally to raise another child, so she delivered Spiers and turned her over to parents who could (and did) offer her a childhood of abundance and attention.

Does Spiers op-ed convince you that having an abortion is easier than suffering through the trauma associated with adoption?

I would argue that Maria’s heartbreak would be greater if she’d opted to abort Spiers.

I know several women who had abortions with men they later married and raised families with. Each has told me they often think about the child who would have been their first born.

Spiers continues: “While pregnant, they will undergo the bonding with a child that happens by biological design as an embryo develops into a living, breathing, conscious human. And then that child will be taken away.”

“The right likes to suggest that abortion is a traumatic experience for women — a last resort, a painful memory. But adoption is often just as traumatic as the right thinks abortion is, if not more so, as a woman has to relinquish not a lump of cells but a fully formed baby she has lived with for nine months. I’m a mother myself … As anyone who has gestated a human will tell you, there is a vast difference between the fourth week of pregnancy and the 40th.”

I have three children. Rather than viewing them as “a lump of cells” in the early months of pregnancy, I was awestruck by the knowledge that a new life was growing within me. And that was long before I felt the first little flutters of movement, the point at which Spiers believes “a kind of biological brainwashing” begins which “happens whether you want to be a parent or not.”

FYI, Ms. Spiers, most women would call it bonding or even love, rather than “a kind of biological brainwashing.”

“She [Justice Coney Barrett] blithely seems to assume that a mother can simply choose not to bond with the child she’s gestating solely on the basis that she is not ready to be a mother or believes that she is unable to provide for the child,” Spiers continues.

The mother/child bond is real, and I would argue it starts long before quickening begins. Is it really easier to end that life than to deliver the child and give them to parents who yearn for a child and have the financial means to provide for them?

“The trauma doesn’t just affect mothers, either,” she writes. “Researchers have a term for what children who are adopted, even as infants, may suffer from later in life: relinquishment trauma. The premise is that babies bond with their mothers in utero and become familiar with their behaviors. When their first caretaker is not the biological mother, they register the difference, and the stress of it has lasting effects.”

Ms. Spiers, we all experience some form of trauma in this life. Truth be told, many who have been raised by their biological parents have experienced trauma and would have been far better off being raised by adoptive parents who truly welcomed parenthood and loved them.

During his 1992 presidential campaign, former President Bill Clinton said, “Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.” While the number of abortions in the U.S. has declined since that time, Democrats have pushed for unlimited access to abortions, with state lawmakers in New York and Virginia fighting for late term, partial-birth and even taxpayer funded abortion.

Then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was so delighted after his state’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act in Jan. 2019, which expands abortion rights, that he ordered the One World Trade Center building, two major bridges in the state and the Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany, to be lit up with pink lights, according to The Washington Times.

Yes, they were celebrating a new law which eliminated “most of the state’s previous restrictions on abortions after 24 weeks,” legalizing the most heinous and cruel procedures conceivable to kill babies.

Ms. Spiers should consider the trauma experienced by the victims of these procedures. And perhaps the trauma of the mother after the reality of what she just allowed a doctor to do to her child sinks in.

Sorry Ms. Spiers, the argument that killing a child in the womb (or even out of the womb as some states now allow), simply because life is difficult and potentially full of suffering, is sheer madness.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, conservative podcast host Ben Shapiro savages Spiers op-ed in his signature fashion. It’s worth a read.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centers around Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after the fifteenth week of pregnancy. With a conservative majority in the Court, the right’s pipe dream of overturning Roe v. Wade, or at least rolling back abortion rights, appears to be within reach. Naturally, this development has escalated the public debate over what is, arguably, the most divisive issue of our time. An op-ed in The New York Times written by Elizabeth Spiers, a Democratic digital strategist who was adopted as an infant, argues that adoption is “infinitely more difficult, expensive, dangerous and potentially traumatic than terminating a pregnancy during its early stages.” She criticizes Justice Amy Coney Barrett for suggesting that “adoption is some kind of idyllic fairy tale.” Spiers writes, “My own adoption actually was what many would consider idyllic. I was raised by two adoptive parents, Alice and Terry, from the time I was an infant, and grew up in a home where I knew every day that I was loved. A few years ago, I found my biological mother, Maria, and three siblings I didn’t know I had via a DNA test and Facebook.” “The first time I spoke to Maria on the phone — she lives in Alabama, not too far from my parents, and I live in Brooklyn — she apologized repeatedly for giving me up and told me she loved me and that I would always be family. ‘You are blood,’ she would say later. I told her, and continue to tell her, every time she brings it up, that the apology is unnecessary. I had a wonderful childhood and I believe she had made the right decision. But she remains heartbroken about the years we missed together.”…

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Bob Dole, GOP Icon and Former Republican Presidential Candidate, Dead at 98

Western Journal

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Bob Dole, the Republican senator and former presidential candidate who survived a grievous combat wound in World War II to personify the grit and dedication of the “Greatest Generation” in politics and in life, has died.

He was 98 years old.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced on Twitter. “At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.”

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In February, Dole revealed that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and said he was starting treatment, according to NBC.

The Republican from Kansas served in the Senate from 1969 through 1996. He was the GOP’s candidate for the presidency in 1996, losing to then-President Bill Clinton.

In 1976, Dole was then-President Gerald Ford’s vice-presidential running when Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

In January 2018, he received a Congressional Gold Medal.

“I want to thank all those who’ve said such kind words about me,” Dole said at the time according to NBC, joking, “They’re probably not true, but they were nice.”

Dole was badly wounded in combat in Italy in 1945, leaving him with limited function in his left arm and none in his right.

Dole led the campaign to raise the $170 million for the World War II Memorial that opened in 2004 in Washington.

In 2018, even when using a wheelchair, Dole greeted each veteran coming to the memorial.

“It’s just about the one public service left that I’m doing,” Dole said then, according to The Washington Post.

Does America need more heroes like Bob Dole?

“We don’t have many of the World War II vets left. It’s important to me.”

“I tell them it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what war you served in, whether you were wounded or not wounded,” Dole said then, according to the Post’s account, which was filled with vignettes of Dole meeting others who had served. “We’re all in this together.”

Dole’s war record was recalled by The New York Times in its obituary, noting, “As the old soldiers of World War II faded away, Mr. Dole, who had been a lieutenant in the Army’s storied 10th Mountain Division and was wounded so severely on a battlefield that he was left for dead, came to personify the resilience of his generation.”

Dole enlisted in 1943. Recovery from his wound would take three years.

The Times noted words said about Dole by the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in a 1996 campaign stop.

“This is the last crusade of a great warrior,” McCain said then. “A member of a generation of Americans who went out and made the world safe for democracy so that we could have lives that were far better for ourselves and for our children.”

According to the Times, Dole’s survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Dole, a former North Carolina senator and former secretary of transportation, and a daughter, Robin Dole.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Bob Dole, the Republican senator and former presidential candidate who survived a grievous combat wound in World War II to personify the grit and dedication of the “Greatest Generation” in politics and in life, has died. He was 98 years old. “It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep,” the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced on Twitter. “At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years.” It is with heavy hearts we announce that Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years. More information coming soon. #RememberingBobDole pic.twitter.com/57NtGfqtmL — Elizabeth Dole Foundation (@DoleFoundation) December 5, 2021 In February, Dole revealed that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and said he was starting treatment, according to NBC. The Republican from Kansas served in the Senate from 1969 through 1996. He was the GOP’s candidate for the presidency in 1996, losing to then-President Bill Clinton. In 1976, Dole was then-President Gerald Ford’s vice-presidential running when Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter. Bob Dole was the type of man who at 96, unable to walk and struggling badly with his health, wanted to be held up so he could salute the casket of a fellow WWII veteran and former president pic.twitter.com/udvVDSYg17 — Sunny McSunnyface (@sunnyright) December 5, 2021 In January 2018, he received a Congressional Gold Medal. “I want to thank all those who’ve said such kind words about me,” Dole said at the time according to NBC, joking, “They’re probably not true, but they were nice.” Dole was badly wounded in combat in Italy in 1945, leaving him with limited…

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