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No oath, no conviction, court says

No oath, no conviction, court says

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A Michigan man sent to prison for 15 years is getting a new trial after the judge failed to do a routine procedure -- ask the jury to take an oath.

Timothy Becktel was sentenced in 2008 for assault with intent to murder. But his appellate lawyer successfully argued that the verdict should be thrown out because the jury didn't swear to return an honest decision based on law and evidence.

The Michigan Court of Appeals said Friday it must erase the verdict to preserve the fairness and integrity of the judicial system.

Assistant prosecutor David King says his office might appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. He says Becktel's trial attorney never objected to the lack of a jury oath.

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