OLBC Members And Chief Justice O'Connor Meet To Discuss Grand Jury Reform
Lawmakers stress urgent need to bring transparency to grand jury process
February 09, 2016
[ Alicia Reece Home | Alicia Reece Press ]

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) members today met with Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to discuss the urgent need for grand jury reform. The meeting – which included OLBC President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati), along with State Senators Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), and Edna Brown (D-Toledo) – was arranged after Rep. Reece sent a letter to Chief Justice O’Connor welcoming the creation of a grand jury reform task force and requesting her to meet with the OLBC.

“I want to thank Chief Justice O’Connor for meeting with members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus today to discuss the importance of bringing transparency to the secretive grand jury process,” said Reece. “Many of our constituents around the state are calling for action after the year-long grand jury process that culminated in the decision to bring zero charges against the officers that shot and killed 12 year-old Tamir Rice, and the lack of charges in the police shooting of John Crawford, Jr. We look forward to working with both the Supreme Court chief justice and our colleagues in the legislature to enact meaningful justice reforms that keep us safe, treat citizens fairly and restore faith and transparency in our justice system.”

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus since May 2015 has called for a major overhaul of the grand jury process and a move toward a more open and transparent system. The OLBC is holding their Annual Day of Action on Wednesday, February 24 at the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus; grand jury reform and other criminal justice reform measures are expected to be major focal points on the day’s agenda. 

*Editor’s note: a photo from today’s meeting is attached. Pictured from L to R: Sen. Thomas, Rep. Reece, Chief Justice O’Connor, Sen. Williams, Sen. Brown.  

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