Lack of Racial Diversity Leads Judge to Dismiss Jury Pool

Lack of Racial Diversity Leads Judge to Dismiss Jury Pool

Only one potential candidate was a person of color.

Published May 13, 2015

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa judge has dismissed a 112-member jury pool after determining that ablack man accused of murder couldn't get a fair trial when all but one potential juror is white.

The Globe Gazette reports 41-year-old Tyrone Washington Jr. of Northwood is accused in the August 2013 stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, 30-year-old Justina Smith.

Washington's defense attorney requested to have the entire jury pool stricken, and District Judge Colleen Weiland on Tuesday granted his motion. Out of the 112 jury pool, 111 people had identified themselves as white. One juror identified himself as Native American.

A new trial date wasn't set Tuesday, but the case is expected to remain in Webster County, about 80 miles north of Des Moines.

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(Photo: Fred Prouser-Pool/Getty Images)   

Written by Associated Press

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