United States v. Ward

989 F.2d 1015 (9th Cir. 1993)


A grand jury indicted D on three counts each of tax evasion and failure to file income tax returns. D in pro se filed a 'Motion to Challenge the Oath,' which proposed an alternative oath that replaced the word 'truth' with the phrase 'fully integrated Honesty.' D believes that honesty is superior to truth. The Magistrate ruled that the oath or affirmation should not be required to give way to D's idiosyncratic distinctions between truth and honesty. The district court overruled D's objections to the Magistrate's order. At trial, D offered to take both the standard oath and his oath. The prosecutor was amenable to the compromise, but the district court refused to allow it. At the close of P's case on the third day of trial, D asked once again to testify under his oath. The judge refused. D did not testify and presented no witnesses. The jury convicted D of all counts after an hour's deliberation. D appealed.