A Kentucky Judge Dismissed A Jury Because It Lacked Black Representation

National

A black Louisville judge has made headlines after he dismissed an all-white jury chosen to try a drug case of an African-American man. Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens removed the jury despite protests from both the defense and prosecutor.

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This isn’t the first time Stevens has ousted an all-white jury. In an unrelated case, at the request of the defense attorney, Stevens sent away a 13-member jury trying a theft case of a African-American.

“There is not a single African American on this jury, and [the defendant] is an African-American man,” Stevens said to a jury on a courtroom recording. “I cannot in good conscience go forward with this jury.”

According to The Courier-Journal, a new jury was called the next day with four African-American members.

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The Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and the attorney general have asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to see if Stevens’ jury dismissal is within his authority.