A gavel on a set of scales

Critics Question Ohio’s Requirements For Prospective Jurors

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CINCINNATI (AP) – As jurors begin hearing a headline-making police shooting trial in Cincinnati, some critics say it’s time to change Ohio’s requirement of potential jurors being registered to vote.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Ohio is one of only two states that populate their jury pool strictly through voter registration records. A majority of states draw from voter registration and driver’s license records.

Leaders of Cincinnati’s black community are concerned that using only registered voters creates racial disparity in selecting juries.

Democratic state Sen. Cecil Thomas, of Cincinnati, says using voter registration hasn’t helped enough with jury pool diversity. He says lack of diversity provides opportunities to control and manipulate juries.

A National Center for State Courts analyst says the purpose of master jury lists is to be as inclusive as possible.