Panel Discussion Explains Criminal Court Procedures Ahead Of Tensing Trial

Oct 12, 2016

From left: Cincinnati Council Woman Yvette Simpson, Retired Judge Nadine Allen, BLAC President Donyetta Bailey, and Rodney Harris, director of the Felony Division of the Hamilton County Public Defender's Office.
Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Members of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati explained how criminal trials work during a community forum Wednesday night in Roselawn.

The event was designed to help the community understand the process that begins later this month as former UC police officer Ray Tensing is tried for murder in the 2015 death of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop.

The conversation covered everything from jury selection to what is required for conviction or acquittal.

Rodney Harris, director of the Felony Division of the Hamilton County Public Defender's Office, covered how a jury is selected and what rules they'll be asked to consider when making their determination. He also talked about the two charges against Tensing and what potential sentences could applied.

Retired Judge Nadine Allen covered the role of the judge in the trial process.

Audrey DuBose, mother of Sam DuBose, attended the forum with her son, Aubrey. She asked about the likelihood of the video of the incident being included in the trial. "This man cold-blooded killed my son and the world could see it," she said.

Allen replied that the prosecutor would want all evidence available to be included, so if the video "passes muster," she said, it could be included.

Cincinnati Council Woman Yvette Simpson discussed legal implications from the city's perspective such as the use of police body cameras. She says the city is still working on what policies it will have surrounding body cameras. (Tensing was a University of Cincinnati police officer, not a member of the Cincinnati Police Department.)