Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

“Anyone with heat blood operating via their veins that witnessed the video and knew the context round what transpired knew that it was flawed,” Mr. King stated.

The case, from the start, echoed painful themes within the Deep South. The homicide of a Black man by white males carrying weapons, introduced to a jury that included only one Black particular person. The remainder have been white. The jury had been put in place over the protests of Ms. Dunikoski, who had tried unsuccessfully to stop potential Black jurors from being eliminated throughout the choice course of by the protection attorneys. It was additionally a painful second for Glynn County, a majority-white county that is still marked by the legacy of segregation.

Its county seat, Brunswick, had earned accolades, a long time in the past, for the way in which its Black and white leaders labored collectively to combine faculties and public services. However the number of such a racially lopsided jury had sparked anger and distrust in a county the place a couple of in 4 residents is Black. Neighboring Brunswick are 4 barrier islands generally known as the Golden Isles, a well-liked tourism vacation spot that can be house to a few of the wealthiest individuals within the nation.

Earlier than the trial Ms. Dunikoski, who’s 54 and declined to be interviewed, had spent her profession largely within the Atlanta metropolitan space, establishing a repute as a tough-minded prosecutor going after murderers, gang members and intercourse offenders. By the tip of the trial, she had received the belief of the Arbery household so deeply that they got here to name her Auntie Linda.

The case took a tortuous route earlier than touchdown in Ms. Dunikowski’s lap. Two native district legal professional’s workplaces dealt with the case to start with, however each finally eliminated themselves from it, citing conflicts of curiosity; one of many former prosecutors, Jackie Johnson, has been criminally indicted over her dealing with of the case. It was within the palms of a 3rd D.A.’s workplace earlier than being handed to the extra resource-rich Cobb County, the place Ms. Dunikoski has labored since 2019.

Earlier than becoming a member of the Cobb County workplace, Ms. Dunikoski had spent greater than 17 years as a prosecutor in Fulton County, the place one in all her highest-profile circumstances was the trial of a bunch of Atlanta Public Faculties academics who have been discovered responsible in 2015 of racketeering and different prices for altering college students’ standardized check scores. Critics stated the prosecutors had supplied up a bunch of principally Black educators as scapegoats for a college district that had a lot deeper systemic issues.

In 2009, in line with The Related Press, Ms. Dunikoski was jailed by a choose for failing to pay a $100 high-quality after the choose had cited her for contempt. The chief county prosecutor on the time reportedly engaged in a shouting match with the choose, arguing that he had unjustly harmed the repute of an sincere lawyer.

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