Call to remove Black pastors adds to agony in Arbery's town

Race was always going to be at the forefront of the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, in a coastal Georgia neighborhood. But a defense attorney's quickly rejected call to kick out Black pastors, including Jesse Jackson, from the Glynn County courtroom intensified frustrations and added fresh agony to a lingering wound that many in the community had hoped the trial could start healing. About a mile from the courthouse in the majority Black city of Brunswick, Tony Bryant has been following the proceedings. Sitting outside the front door of his apartment with peeling teal paint and a view of cranes at the state of Georgia’s port along the East River, he said the way race has seeped into the trial has been discouraging but not surprising — from seating an almost all-white jury when 27% of Glynn County’s 85,000 people are Black to trying to kick out Jackson and other pastors. “Three white men killed a Black guy. Come on, man. Who did they think was going to be there to support his family?” Bryant said.

New Jersey breaks own monthly sports betting record: $1.3B in bets

New Jersey's red-hot sports betting industry smashed its own national record in October for the highest amount of bets taken in a single month, topping $1.3 billion. That figure easily surpassed the $1.01 billion worth of bets that Atlantic City's nine casinos and the three horse tracks that offer sports betting took in September. And it also emphasizes just how much is at stake in a looming cross-border war for sports betting dollars once New York state offers mobile sports betting. Earlier this month, New York chose vendors to offer mobile sports betting with the goal of having it up and running before the Super Bowl in February.

Rittenhouse case raises question: What makes a fair trial?

MADISON, Wis. — At one point, the 18-year-old murder defendant stood behind the seated, black-robed judge and peered over him to review evidence. At another, on Veterans Day, the judge led the jury and others in the courtroom in applause for veterans just as a defense witness who had served in the Army was about to testify. And as the case neared its conclusion, the judge permitted the defendant to draw numbers from a raffle drum to determine which jurors would serve as alternates — creating the appearance, however small, that the defendant was helping to administer his own trial. As Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial has played out in the Kenosha courtroom of Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder, moments of apparent deference to the defendant have struck many observers as curiously different from how murder proceedings often unfold. Schroeder addressed some of these observations Wednesday, saying “people should have confidence in the outcome of the trial.”

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