Jury selection resumes today in the Ray Tensing murder re-trial in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tensing is accused of shooting and killing a suspect he pulled over for a traffic infraction on July 19, 2015. Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, does not deny shooting Sam DuBose, but he has claimed he acted in self-defense. Tensing’s first murder trial ended with a hung jury.
According to a ruling issued late Thursday by Judge Leslie Ghiz, one television pool camera could be present during jury selection.
Other stiff media restrictions remain in effect, however. Reporters covering the case are banned from having laptops or cell phone in the courtroom and on the entire fifth floor of the local courthouse. Journalists are only allowed to use five seats in the courtroom, even though the room has been mostly empty. Local media outlets must conduct a lottery to determine who will be able to use the five seats. One is occupied by the television camera; another by a still camera.
Local media outlets appealed the judge’s initial restrictive order, which was virtually identical to the one issued late last night, to the Ohio Court of Appeals. That court said the judge’s restrictions were unenforceable because a hearing had not been held to determine their validity. Judge Ghiz vacated the restrictive order and held a hearing yesterday in an attempt to enforce the restrictions. During the hearing, a series of court security officers testified that they had been informed some jurors were uncomfortable with press attention.
The judge did not appear to rule late Thursday on whether completed jury questionnaires, even with personally identifying information redacted, would be released to the press during the trial. A copy of a blank questionnaire, which was released, is below.
In yesterday’s late ruling, Judge Ghiz stated that 180 jurors remain to be whittled through before testimony can commence.
The case has attracted considerable local and national attention. Protesters regularly line the streets near the courthouse.