Odds Are Against Conviction of OH Police Officer in Shooting

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Statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely jurors will convict former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing of murder in the fatal shooting of Sam DuBose, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. It’s a statistical toss-up if the jury will find Tensing guilty of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter during its deliberation in the case, which concluded this week “The odds are that he will not be convicted,” said criminologist Philip Stinson of Bowling Green State University, who has built a database of 12,000 arrests of police officers since 2005. “But it’s so difficult. You really can’t predict what a jury will do.”

Closing arguments yesterday focused on the primary issue of the trial: Was Tensing in fear of his life on July 19, 2015, when he fatally shot Sam DuBose during a traffic stop. Stew Mathews, representing Tensing, told jurors Tensing was, “in sheer terror. He wasn’t angry or upset with Sam DuBose. He was scared to death. That’s why he fired his weapon.” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters described the defense’s claims as “nonsensical and comical,” saying, “He says he had to stop the threat; there never was one.” Stinson says only one police officer in the nation has been convicted of murder of those charged with either murder or manslaughter in on-duty fatal shootings of civilians.  Currently 21 cases are pending across the nation where officers face either murder or manslaughter charges, including the Tensing case.


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