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12 Excused As Tensing Retrial Jury Selection Continues

Ray Tensing entering the courtroom during his first trial.

Jury selection continued again Monday in the retrial of Ray Tensing.

Attorneys, primarily the prosecution, questioned potential jurors about a variety of things, including responses in the jury questionnaires. Questions ranged from feelings about Black Lives Matter, preconceived ideas about police being justified in shooting incidents, and prior knowledge about the incident and first trial.

Approximately 60 people were brought into the courtroom, twelve were excused for various reasons. That leaves the entire jury pool at 95 people. The prosecution and defense also have four peremptory challenges each, meaning they can both dismiss up to four people without having to say why.

Among those excused Monday were a black man who said officers unfairly target blacks and cited occasions when he felt he'd been targeted; and a white man who assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger quoted as writing on his questionnaire that Tensing should have received a medal.

The selection process will continue Tuesday with the prosecution questioning more people. The defense is expected to have a chance to lead questioning as well.

Potential jurors are questioned in order, with the first 12 seated in the jury box. As each person is excused, he or she is replaced by the next person in line. Thus, the current makeup of the jury box is as follows: six white women, four white men, one black woman, and one black man. The first four alternate positions are two black women followed by two white men.

Judge Leslie Ghiz says she thinks a jury could be selected by the end of Tuesday.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.