Former U.S. attorney commends recent jury decisions in the Rittenhouse and Arbery trials


“Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” opened with former U.S. attorney and Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy on the state of the justice system in America.

Specifically, Gowdy referenced the recent jury decisions behind the Kyle Rittenhouse and the Ahmaud Arbery trials, two heavily-promoted cases in the media. Both trials had different outcomes with the Rittenhouse trial ended with a not guilty verdict, and the trial against Arbery’s killers resulted in a guilty verdict. 

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Kyle Rittenhouse listens as Judge Bruce Schroeder talks about how the jury will view video during deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 17, 2021.

Kyle Rittenhouse listens as Judge Bruce Schroeder talks about how the jury will view video during deliberations in Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., November 17, 2021.
(Sean Krajacic/Pool)

“I think they’re absolutely the right verdicts,” McCarthy said.

Despite heavy media attention surrounding both cases, McCarthy complimented the jury system for putting trust in the “common sense of the community.”

“To me, the most important thing or the most important distinction is that in a trial, and we saw that in these two trials, we don’t put twelve experts in the box, right? We put twelve people with common sense in the box. And if they need expert testimony, the idea is they get to hear from an expert who can give them some experience or some expertise in some area that’s material. In the end, we trust the common sense of the community to make the decision,” McCarthy said.

He added “And it seems to me that in politics and most of our other institutions, we put the experts in charge and sometimes there’s so much tunnel vision in terms of their expertise that they miss the big picture. And I don’t think juries do.”

Gowdy lamented the recent “politicization” of the justice system that appears to undermine the common sense of the community. McCarthy agreed that the undermining of the institution could ruin any chance at a prosperous society.

Dozens of Black Lives Matter and Black Panther protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse where the trial of Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan is held, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three men charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Dozens of Black Lives Matter and Black Panther protesters gather outside the Glynn County Courthouse where the trial of Travis McMichael, his father, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan is held, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Brunswick, Ga. The three men charged with the February 2020 slaying of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

“If you have a two-tiered justice system, which I think a lot of people look at our justice system and rightly worry that that’s the case, then you really don’t have the undergirding of the rule of law which means that any chance of having a prosperous society hangs in the balance. We don’t have the rule of law, we have bedlam. We don’t have an institution like the legal system giving us result that we think are legitimate, we can’t have the rule of law.” McCarthy said.

McCarthy also questioned the decision for the three men found guilty behind Arbery’s murder to face federal hate crime charges in February. Because the prosecution was unable to prove that the men acted with racist intentions during the criminal trial, he questioned the Justice Department’s priorities in filing more charges.

“I’ve never in my life heard of a case where the prosecutors have a motive where they can actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt and they don’t prove it. So if you can get through the jury case without it, I’ve got to ask, what is the Justice Department doing about it?” McCarthy asked.

McCarthy ended the segment calling on litigators to be less focused on political trappings in the future. 

“We need to be a lot more honest about the situations that we’re in, and a lot less of a mind that we have to be on one side or another,” McCarthy said.

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