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Mistake may win Michigan inmate a new trial

Michigan Dept of Corrections

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in a case where a procedural mistake could get a convicted killer a new trial.

At his sentencing, a judge called Brandon Cain the “mastermind”behind the torture and murder of two Hamtramck women in 2012. 

Cain was sentenced to two life terms. 

Cain appealed, citing a mistake made by the court clerk. The clerk read the wrong oath when swearing in the jury at the beginning of the trial. 

The Court of Appeals ruled the mistake constituted a “structural error” and ordered a new trial.     

The prosecutor’s office appealed to the state supreme court, arguing the mistake did not affect Cain’s rights.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.