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Jury Mask Requirement Insufficient to Reverse Fraud Convictions

Nov. 29, 2021, 8:14 PM

A man convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud received a fair trial despite his objection to a district court policy requiring jurors to wear face masks as a pandemic precaution, the Sixth Circuit said Monday.

Charles Ray Smith argued that the mask requirement violated his constitutional right to a fair trial because it kept him from seeing jurors’ full facial expressions during the proceedings. But “the district court’s alleged error, to the extent it was an error at all, was harmless,” so Smith’s convictions stand, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said in an unpublished opinion ...

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