- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A black Kentucky judge is under fire after he halted a drug trial and dismissed the entire jury upon noticing a lack of black jurors.

It is the second time that Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens has brought in a new jury over diversity concerns, and now the state Supreme Court is going to determine whether he is abusing his authority, a local Fox News affiliate reported.

“The concern is that the panel is not representative of the community,” Judge Stevens said last week.

The judge also dismissed an entire jury on Nov. 18 after noticing there were no black jurors.

“There is not a single African-American on this jury and (the defendant) is an African-American man,” he said at the time, Fox reported. “I cannot in good conscience go forward with this jury.”



In requesting the Kentucky Supreme Court hear the issue, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dorislee Gilbert argued that there was no proof the jury in the November case could not be fair just because of their race, Fox reported.

The judge “struck the jury based on nothing more than unsupported fear or impression that the jury might not be fair because of its racial makeup,” Ms. Gilbert wrote in the case, Commonwealth vs. James Doss. “There was no consideration of whether the Commonwealth or the citizens who had sacrificed of their own lives to make themselves available for jury service had any rights or interests in continuing to trial with the jury as selected.”

Last month, the state Supreme Court agreed to look at the issue, Fox reported.

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