Seventh Circuit Finds Failure to Swear Venire in Promptly During Voir Dire to Be Harmless, Non-structural Error.

In this case, at the start of the trial for robbery of a credit union, the District Court trial judge forgot to swear members of the venire under oath to answer questions put to them truthfully. The judge caught his error, and swore them in later. He followed up by asking the panel whether any of their answers would have changed that were given once they were sworn in. He also handled individually of the final selected jurors.

The defense argued on appeal that this was a structural error subject to automatic reversal. In the end, the Seventh Circuit held that any error was not structural, that it was subject to a harmless error analysis, and that any error was ultimately harmless, especially in light of the remedial measures taken by the District Court judge.

The case is United States v. Wiman

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