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A judge in 2010 forgot to swear in a jury before it convicted a man of assault for biting a deputy U.S. marshal.But, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, that doesn’t really matter, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Wednesday.
Gilbert Turrietta’s lawyer Charles Knoblauch, who didn’t mention the oversight during the trial, asked the court to set aside Turrietta’s 2010 conviction, claiming it violated his Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury.
But the appeals court doesn’t see it that way.
“Even assuming the failure to administer the oath was constitutional error, the error was neither so clear that the district judge can be faulted for refusing to act when it was belatedly called to his attention, nor so grave that failure to correct it on appeal would threaten the integrity of judicial proceedings or result in a miscarriage of justice,” the court said in its ruling, which was posted by Law Blog.
Turrietta’s case was so clear-cut the jury’s oath was less meaningful, the appeals court ruled. The trial lasted only seven hours and the jury returned a verdict in two hours.
Knoblauch told Law Blog he was reviewing the ruling and didn’t immediately want to comment.
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