Sen. Tavares To Address Racial Fairness In Judicial System
Will Introduce Recommendations from Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Racial Fairness Report

Columbus—State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D – Columbus), Assistant Senate Democratic Leader will be introducing legislation to implement the recommendations of the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness. The Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness was created as a joint initiative of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1994 and created the report in 1999. The Court and the State Bar presented the Commission with the following mandate:
“ identify racial bias where it exists and propose methods for eliminating it from the legal profession and the justice system. This will include gathering information about the perception and reality of disparate treatment towards African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans, and recommending methods of addressing and eliminating those perceptions and realities.
The commission was charged to: (1) study every aspect of the state court system and the legal profession to ascertain the manner in which African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans are perceived and treated as parties, victims, lawyers, judges and employees; (2) determine public perceptions of fairness or lack of fairness in the judicial system and legal profession; and (3) make recommendations on needed reforms and remedial programs.
The Commission adopted 70 recommendations in the following areas: Judges and Attorney Perceptions; Employment and Appointment Practices in the Courts; Jury Issues; Criminal Justice and Sentencing; Law Schools; Interpreter Services; and Juvenile Justice Recommendations.
“These recommendations were taken from research conducted in our own state” stated Tavares. “This comprehensive report shows that there is racial bias within our justice system from arrest to sentencing. The commission made these recommendations to help alleviate the racial biases in our justice system, but the state has left it on the shelf for nearly 15 years. Current events in Beavercreek, OH, Cleveland, OH, Ferguson, MO, New York, NY and etc. show that this legislation is needed. The report shows that there is not just a perception but documented bias and discrimination in our justice system; a system that should be fair and equal,” concluded Tavares.


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