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Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false
oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British E ...

oath
or falsifying an
affirmation Affirmation or affirm may refer to: Logic * Affirmation, a declaration that something is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In ...
to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding."Perjury The act or an instance of a person’s deliberately making material false or misleading statements while under oath. – Also termed false swearing; false oath; (archaically forswearing." Like most other crimes in the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or ) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ' is the most-used legal dictionary used among legal profe ...
system, to be convicted of perjury one must have had the ''intention'' (''
mens rea ''Mens rea'' (; Law LatinLaw Latin, sometimes written L.L. or L. Lat., and sometimes derisively called Dog Latin Dog Latin, also known as Cod Latin, macaronic Latin, mock Latin, or Canis Latinicus, refers to the creation of a phrase In everyd ...
'') to commit the act and to have ''actually committed'' the act (''
actus reus ''Actus reus'' (), sometimes called the external element or the objective element of a crime, is the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoke ...
''). Further, statements that ''are facts'' cannot be considered perjury, even if they might arguably constitute an omission, and it is not perjury to lie about matters that are immaterial to the legal proceeding. Statements that entail an ''interpretation'' of fact are not perjury because people often draw inaccurate conclusions unwittingly or make honest mistakes without the intent to deceive. Individuals may have honest but mistaken beliefs about certain facts or their recollection may be inaccurate, or may have a different perception of what is the accurate way to state the truth. In some jurisdictions, no crime has occurred when a false statement is (intentionally or unintentionally) made while under oath or subject to penalty. Instead, criminal culpability attaches only at the instant the declarant falsely asserts the truth of statements (made or to be made) that are material to the outcome of the proceeding. For example, it is not perjury to lie about one's age except if age is a fact material to influencing the legal result, such as eligibility for old age
retirement Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours or workload. Many people choose to retire when they are old or incapable of doing their job d ...

retirement
benefits or whether a person was of an age to have
legal capacity The capacity of natural and juridical persons (legal person In law, a legal person is any person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-co ...
. Perjury is considered a serious offense, as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in
miscarriages of justice A miscarriage of justice, also known as a wrongful conviction, occurs when a person is guilt (law), convicted and punished for a crime that they actual innocence, did not commit. The main contributing factors are eyewitness misidentification, fault ...
. In
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
, those who commits perjury are guilty of an
indictable offence In many common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dicti ...
and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. Perjury is a statutory offence in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
. A person convicted of perjury is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both. In the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, the general perjury statute under federal law classifies perjury as a
felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousnessSeriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravity Gravity (), or gravitation, is a list of natural phenomena, natural phenomenon by which all things with m ...
and provides for a prison sentence of up to five years. The
California Penal CodeImage:Californiapenalcode.jpg, 250px, Volumes of the Thomson West annotated version of the California Penal Code; the other popular annotated version is Deering's, which is published by LexisNexis The Penal Code of California forms the basis for th ...
allows for perjury to be a
capital offense Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...
in cases causing
wrongful executionWrongful execution is a miscarriage of justice A miscarriage of justice, also known as a wrongful conviction, occurs when a person is convicted In law, a conviction is the verdict that usually results when a court of law A court is any pe ...
. Perjury which caused the wrongful execution of another or in the pursuit of causing the wrongful execution of another is respectively construed as murder or attempted murder, and is normally itself punishable by execution in countries that retain the
death penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

death penalty
. Perjury is considered a felony in most U.S. states as well as most Australian states. In
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
, under Section 124 of the Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899, perjury is punishable by up to life in prison if it is committed to procure an innocent person for a crime that is punishable by life in prison. However, prosecutions for perjury are rare. In some countries such as
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, suspects cannot be heard under
oath Traditionally an oath (from Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British E ...

oath
or
affirmation Affirmation or affirm may refer to: Logic * Affirmation, a declaration that something is true True most commonly refers to truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In ...
and so cannot commit perjury, regardless of what they say during their trial. The rules for perjury also apply when a person has made a statement ''under penalty of perjury'' even if the person has not been sworn or affirmed as a witness before an appropriate official. An example is the US
income tax An income tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelate ...
return, which, by law, must be signed as true and correct under penalty of perjury (see ). Federal tax law provides criminal penalties of up to three years in
prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention ...

prison
for violation of the tax return perjury statute. See: In the United States,
Kenya ) , national_anthem = "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (, ) is the national anthem of Kenya. History "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu"'s lyrics were originally written in Swahili language, Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya ...

Kenya
,
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
and several other English-speaking
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
nations,
subornation of perjury In American law, Scots law Scots law () is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. Howeve ...
, which is attempting to induce another person to commit perjury, is itself a crime.


Perjury law by jurisdiction


Canada

The offence of perjury is codified by section 132 of the
Criminal Code A criminal code (or penal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, ha ...
. It is defined by section 131, which provides: As to corroboration, see section 133. Everyone who commits perjury is guilty of an
indictable offence In many common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dicti ...
and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.Criminal Code
s 132, as amended by RSC 1985, c 27 (1st Supp), s 17 and SC 1998, c 35, s 119.
/ref>


European Union

A person who, before the
Court of Justice of the European Union The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (french: Cour de justice de l'Union européenne or "''CJUE''"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...
, swears anything which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true is, whatever his nationality, guilty of perjury. Proceedings for this offence may be taken in any place in the State and the offence may for all incidental purposes be treated as having been committed in that place.


India

"The offence of perjury finds its place in law by virtue of Section 191 to Section 203 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 ('IPC'). Unlike many other countries, the offence of perjury is muted on account of Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 ("Cr.P.C"). Section 195(1)(b)(i) of the Cr.P.C. restricts any court to take cognisance of an offence of perjury unless the same is by way of a complaint in writing by the court before which the offence is committed or by a superior court."


Nigeria


United Kingdom


England and Wales

Perjury is a statutory offence in
England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows ...

England and Wales
. It is created by section 1(1) of the
Perjury Act 1911 The Perjury Act 1911 (1 & 2 Geo 5 c 6) is an Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It creates the offence of perjury and a number of similar offences. This Act has effect as if section 89 of the Cri ...
. Section 1 of that Act reads: The words omitted from section 1(1) were repealed by section 1(2) of the
Criminal Justice Act 1948 The Criminal Justice Act 1948 () is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Poli ...
. A person guilty of an offence under section 11(1) of the European Communities Act 1972 (i.e. perjury before the
Court of Justice of the European Union The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (french: Cour de justice de l'Union européenne or "''CJUE''"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...
) may be proceeded against and punished in England and Wales as for an offence under section 1(1). Section 1(4) has effect in relation to proceedings in the Court of Justice of the European Union as it has effect in relation to a judicial proceeding in a tribunal of a foreign state. Section 1(4) applies in relation to proceedings before a relevant convention court under the
European Patent Convention The European Patent Convention (EPC), also known as the Convention on the Grant of European Patents of 5 October 1973, is a multilateral treaty instituting the European Patent Organisation and providing an autonomous legal system according to wh ...
as it applies to a judicial proceeding in a tribunal of a foreign state. A statement made on oath by a witness outside the United Kingdom and given in evidence through a live television link by virtue of section 32 of the
Criminal Justice Act 1988 The Criminal Justice Act 1988 (c 33) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, ...
must be treated for the purposes of section 1 as having been made in the proceedings in which it is given in evidence. Section 1 applies in relation to a person acting as an intermediary as it applies in relation to a person lawfully sworn as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding; and for this purpose, where a person acts as an intermediary in any proceeding which is not a judicial proceeding for the purposes of section 1, that proceeding must be taken to be part of the judicial proceeding in which the witness's evidence is given. Where any statement made by a person on oath in any proceeding which is not a judicial proceeding for the purposes of section 1 is received in evidence in pursuance of a special measures direction, that proceeding must be taken for the purposes of section 1 to be part of the judicial proceeding in which the statement is so received in evidence.


=Judicial proceeding

= The definition in section 1(2) is not "comprehensive".
Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and PracticeArchbold may refer to: People * Barry Archbold Barry Archbold (born 11 December 1933) is a former Australian rules football Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called "Aussie rules", "football" or " ...
. 1999. Paragraph 28-159 at page 2303.
The book "Archbold" says that it appears to be immaterial whether the court before which the statement is made has jurisdiction in the particular cause in which the statement is made, because there is no express requirement in the Act that the court be one of "competent jurisdiction" and because the definition in section 1(2) does not appear to require this by implication either.


=''Actus reus''

= The ''
actus reus ''Actus reus'' (), sometimes called the external element or the objective element of a crime, is the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoke ...
'' of perjury might be considered to be the making of a statement, whether true or false, on oath in a judicial proceeding, where the person knows the statement to be false or believes it to be false. Perjury is a conduct crime.


=Mode of trial

= Perjury is
triable only on indictment In many common law jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the ...
.


=Sentence

= A person convicted of perjury is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to a fine, or to both.The
Perjury Act 1911 The Perjury Act 1911 (1 & 2 Geo 5 c 6) is an Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It creates the offence of perjury and a number of similar offences. This Act has effect as if section 89 of the Cri ...

section 1(1)
the
Criminal Justice Act 1948 The Criminal Justice Act 1948 () is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Poli ...

sections 1(1) and (2)
/ref> The following cases are relevant: *''R v Hall'' (1982) 4 Cr App R (S) 153 *''R v Knight'', 6 Cr App R (S) 31, 984 Crim LR 304, CA *''R v Healey'' (1990) 12 Cr App R (S) 297 *''R v Dunlop'' 0012 Cr App R (S) 27 *
R v Archer
' 002EWCA Crim 1996,
003003, O03, 0O3, OO3 may refer to: *003, fictional British 00 Agent *003, former emergency telephone number for the Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *No ...

003
1 Cr App R (S) 86 *''R v Adams''
004 004, 0O4, O04, OO4 may refer to: * 004, fictional British 00 Agent * 0O4, Corning Municipal Airport (California) * O04, the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation * Abdul Haq Wasiq, Guantanamo detainee 004 * Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine * Lauda Ai ...
2 Cr App R (S) 15 *''R v Cunningham''
007 The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was a British writer, journalist and Naval Intelligence Divi ...
2 Cr App R (S) 61 See also the Crown Prosecution Service sentencing manual.


=History

= In Anglo-Saxon legal procedure, the offence of perjury could only be committed by both jurors and by compurgators.Turner, J. W. C. ''Kenny Outlines on Criminal Law'' (London: Cambridge University Press, 1964) (18th edition), p.421. With time witnesses began to appear in court they were not so treated despite the fact that their functions were akin to that of modern witnesses. This was due to the fact that their role were not yet differentiated from those of the juror and so evidence or perjury by witnesses was not made a crime. Even in the 14th century, when witnesses started appearing before the jury to testify, perjury by them was not made a punishable offence. The maxim then was that every witness's evidence on oath was true. Perjury by witnesses began to be punished before the end of the 15th century by the
Star Chamber The Star Chamber (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in r ...
. The immunity enjoyed by witnesses began also to be whittled down or interfered with by the Parliament in England in 1540 with subornation of perjury and, in 1562, with perjury proper. The punishment for the offence then was in the nature of monetary penalty, recoverable in a civil action and not by penal sanction. In 1613, the Star Chamber declared perjury by a witness to be a punishable offence at common law. Prior to the 1911 Act, perjury was governed by section 3 of the Maintenance and Embracery Act 1540 5 Eliz 1 c. 9 (; repealed 1967) and the Perjury Act 1728.


=Materiality

= The requirement that the statement be material can be traced back to and has been credited to
Edward Coke Sir Edward Coke ( "cook", formerly ; 1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634) was an English , judge, and politician who is considered the greatest jurist of the and eras. Born into an upper-class family, Coke was educated at , before leavin ...

Edward Coke
, who said:


Northern Ireland

Perjury is a statutory offence in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
. It is created b
article 3(1)
of the Perjury (Northern Ireland) Order 1979 (S.I. 1979/1714 (N.I. 19)). This replaces the Perjury Act (Northern Ireland) 1946 (c. 13) (N.I.).


United States

Perjury operates in American law as an inherited principle of the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or ) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ' is the most-used legal dictionary used among legal profe ...
of England, which defined the act as the "willful and corrupt giving, upon a lawful oath, or in any form allowed by law to be substituted for an oath, in a judicial proceeding or course of justice, of a false testimony material to the issue or matter of inquiry".
William Blackstone Sir William Blackstone (10 July 1723 – 14 February 1780) was an English jurist A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholarnot necessaril ...

William Blackstone
touched on the subject in his ''
Commentaries on the Laws of England The ''Commentaries on the Laws of England'' are an influential 18th-century treatise on the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions writ ...
'', establishing perjury as "a crime committed when a lawful oath is administered, in some judicial proceeding, to a person who swears willfully, absolutely, and falsely, in a matter material to the issue or point in question". The punishment for perjury under the common law has varied from death to banishment and has included such grotesque penalties as severing the tongue of the perjurer. The definitional structure of perjury provides an important framework for legal proceedings, as the component parts of this definition have permeated jurisdictional lines, finding a home in American legal constructs. As such, the main tenets of perjury, including
mens rea ''Mens rea'' (; Law LatinLaw Latin, sometimes written L.L. or L. Lat., and sometimes derisively called Dog Latin Dog Latin, also known as Cod Latin, macaronic Latin, mock Latin, or Canis Latinicus, refers to the creation of a phrase In everyd ...
, a lawful oath, occurring during a judicial proceeding, a false testimony have remained necessary pieces of perjury's definition in the United States.


Statutory definitions

Perjury's current position in the American legal system takes the form of state and federal statutes. Most notably, the United States Code prohibits perjury, which is defined in two senses for federal purposes as someone who: The above statute provides for a fine and/or up to five years in prison as punishment. Within federal jurisdiction, statements made in two broad categories of judicial proceedings may qualify as perjurious: 1) Federal official proceedings, and 2) Federal Court or Grand Jury proceedings. A third type of perjury entails the procurement of perjurious statements from another person. More generally, the statement must occur in the "course of justice," but this definition leaves room open for interpretation. One particularly precarious aspect of the phrasing is that it entails knowledge of the accused person's perception of the truthful nature of events and not necessarily the actual truth of those events. It is important to note the distinction here, between giving a false statement under oath and merely misstating a fact accidentally, but the distinction can be especially difficult to discern in court of law.


Precedents

The development of perjury law in the United States centers on ''United States v. Dunnigan'', a seminal case that set out the parameters of perjury within United States law. The court uses the Dunnigan-based legal standard to determine if an accused person: "testifying under oath or affirmation violates this section if she gives false testimony concerning a material matter with the willful intent to provide false testimony, rather than as a result of confusion, mistake, or faulty memory." However, a defendant shown to be willfully ignorant may in fact be eligible for perjury prosecution. ''Dunnigan'' distinction manifests its importance with regard to the relation between two component parts of perjury's definition: in willfully giving a false statement, a person must understand that she is giving a false statement to be considered a perjurer under the ''Dunnigan'' framework. Deliberation on the part of the defendant is required for a statement to constitute perjury. Jurisprudential developments in the American law of perjury have revolved around the facilitation of "perjury prosecutions and thereby enhance the reliability of testimony before federal courts and grand juries". With that goal in mind, Congress has sometimes expanded the grounds on which an individual may be prosecuted for perjury, with section 1623 of the United States Code recognizing the utterance of two mutually incompatible statements as grounds for perjury indictment even if neither can unequivocally be proven false. However, the two statements must be so mutually incompatible that at least one must necessarily be false; it is irrelevant whether the false statement can be specifically identified from among the two. It thus falls on the government to show that a defendant (a) knowingly made a (b) false (c) material statement (d) under oath (e) in a legal proceeding. The proceedings can be ancillary to normal court proceedings, and thus, even such menial interactions as bail hearings can qualify as protected proceedings under this statute. Wilfulness is an element of the offense. The mere existence of two mutually-exclusive factual statements is not sufficient to prove perjury; the prosecutor nonetheless has the duty to plead and prove that the statement was willfully made. Mere contradiction will not sustain the charge; there must be strong corroborative evidence of the contradiction. One significant legal distinction lies in the specific realm of knowledge necessarily possessed by a defendant for her statements to be properly called perjury. Though the defendant must knowingly render a false statement in a legal proceeding or under federal jurisdiction, the defendant need not know that they are speaking under such conditions for the statement to constitute perjury. All tenets of perjury qualification persist: the "knowingly" aspect of telling the false statement simply does not apply to the defendant's knowledge about the person whose deception is intended.


Materiality

The evolution of United States perjury law has experienced the most debate with regards to the materiality requirement. Fundamentally, statements that are literally true cannot provide the basis for a perjury charge (as they do not meet the falsehood requirement) just as answers to truly ambiguous statements cannot constitute perjury. However, such fundamental truths of perjury law become muddled when discerning the materiality of a given statement and the way in which it was material to the given case. In ''United States v. Brown'', the court defined material statements as those with "a natural tendency to influence, or is capable of influencing, the decision of the decision-making body to be addressed," such as a jury or grand jury. While courts have specifically made clear certain instances that have succeeded or failed to meet the nebulous threshold for materiality, the topic remains unresolved in large part, except in certain legal areas where intent manifests itself in an abundantly clear fashion, such as with the so-called perjury trap, a specific situation in which a prosecutor calls a person to testify before a grand jury with the intent of drawing a perjurious statement from the person being questioned.


Defense of recantation

Despite a tendency of US perjury law toward broad prosecutory power under perjury statutes, American perjury law has afforded potential defendants a new form of defense not found in the British Common Law. This defense requires that an individual admit to making a perjurious statement during that same proceeding and recanting the statement. Though this defensive loophole slightly narrows the types of cases which may be prosecuted for perjury, the effect of this statutory defense is to promote a truthful retelling of facts by witnesses, thus helping to ensure the reliability of American court proceedings just as broadened perjury statutes aimed to do.


Subornation of perjury

Subornation of perjury stands as a subset of US perjury laws and prohibits an individual from inducing another to commit perjury. Subornation of perjury entails equivalent possible punishments as perjury on the federal level. The crime requires an extra level of satisfactory proof, as prosecutors must show not only that perjury occurred but also that the defendant positively induced said perjury. Furthermore, the inducing defendant must know that the suborned statement is a false, perjurious statement.


Notable convicted perjurers

*
Jonathan Aitken Jonathan William Patrick Aitken (born 30 August 1942) is an Irish-born British former Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom (1974–97), former Cabinet minister an ...
,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some ...

politician
, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in 1999 for perjury. *
Jeffrey Archer Jeffrey Howard Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare (born 15 April 1940) is an English novelist, life peer In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) ...

Jeffrey Archer
,
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...

British
novelist A novelist is an author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question ...
and
politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some ...

politician
, was sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment for perjury in 2001. *
Kwame Kilpatrick Kwame Malik Kilpatrick (born June 8, 1970) is an American former politician who served as a Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Michigan state representative from 1997 to 2002 and mayor of Detroit from 2002 to 2008. Kilpatrick resigned a ...

Kwame Kilpatrick
,
Detroit (strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Mo ...
mayor was convicted of perjury in 2008. *
Marion Jones Marion Lois Jones (born October 12, 1975), also known as Marion Jones-Thompson, is a Belizean-American former world champion track and field athlete Track and field is a sport that includes Competition#Sports, athletic contests establishe ...

Marion Jones
,
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
track and field Track and field is a sport that includes Competition#Sports, athletic contests based on running, jumping, and throwing skills. The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track and a grass field for the throwing and some o ...
athlete, was sentenced to 6 months' imprisonment after being found guilty of two counts of perjury in 2008. * Mark Fuhrman,
Los Angeles Police Department The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially known as the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the municipal A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle ...

Los Angeles Police Department
detective A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them ...

detective
, entered a
no contest ' is a legal term that comes from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through ...
plea In legal terms, a plea is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a criminal case under common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions ...

plea
to a perjury charge relating to his testimony in the murder trial of O. J. Simpson. This was one of the seminal occurrences of perjury by a police officer. *
Alger Hiss Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was an American government official accused in 1948 of having spied for the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, f ...

Alger Hiss
, American government official who was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950. *
Lil' Kim Kimberly Denise Jones (born July 11, 1974 or 1975), better known by her stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for ...
,
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
rapper Rapping (also rhyming, spitting, emceeing or MCing) is a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates "rhyme, rhythmic speech, and street vernacular", which is performed or chanted in a variety of ways, usually over a backing beat or musi ...

rapper
was convicted of perjury in 2005 after lying to a grand jury in 2003 about a February 2001 shooting. She was sentenced to one year and one day of imprisonment. * Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was convicted in 2007 of two counts of perjury in connection with the
Plame affair The Plame affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate) was a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003.Bernie Madoff Bernard Lawrence Madoff ( ; April 29, 1938April 14, 2021) was an American financier and convicted fraud, fraudster who ran the world's largest Ponzi scheme. He was at one time non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market before being re ...
, the former Chairman of the
NASDAQ The Nasdaq Stock Market () is an American stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorpora ...
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community in Green Township, Morgan County, Indiana, Green To ...
, in 2009 was found guilty of perjury in relation to
investment fraud To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit/return in the future. In other words, to invest means owning an asset or an item with the goal of generating income from the investment or the appreciation of your investment whic ...
arising from his operating a
Ponzi scheme A Ponzi scheme (, ) is a form of fraud In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and inf ...
. *
Michele Sindona Michele Sindona (; May 8, 1920 – March 22, 1986) was an Italian banker A bank is a financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of f ...
, convicted of perjury related to a bogus
kidnapping In criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful confinement of a person against their will, often including transportation/asportation. The asportation and abduction element is typically but not necessarily conducted by means of force or fear: the ...
in August 1979. *
Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan (born 7 March 1966) is a Scottish politician serving as convenor of Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes, ...
, Scottish politician, found guilty of lying on affirmation in a trial in 2010. * John Waller, British highwayman, known for his death while being for perjury in 1732


Allegations of perjury

Notable people who have been accused of perjury include: *
Barry Bonds Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is an American former professional baseball Professional baseball is organized baseball in which players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system. It is play ...
was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly perjuring himself in testimony denying the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The perjury charges were later dropped after a deadlock by the trial jury. *Former
U.S. President The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebeing an embodime ...

U.S. President
Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton ('' né'' Blythe III; born August 19, 1946) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 42nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and ...

Bill Clinton
was accused of perjury and as a result was impeached by the House of Representatives on 19 December 1998. No criminal charges were ever brought and upon leaving office he accepted immunity. *
Andy Coulson Andrew Edward Coulson (born 21 January 1968) is an English journalist and political strategist. Coulson was the editor of the ''News of the World'' from 2003 until his resignation in 2007, following the conviction of one of the newspaper's repor ...
, British journalist and political aide, was cleared of perjury charges in the
News International phone hacking scandal The News International phone-hacking scandal was a controversy involving the now-defunct ''News of the World'' and other British newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch. Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police brib ...
, because his questioned testimony was ruled immaterial. * Michael Hayden, the former director of the
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as the Agency and the Company, is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. fed ...
(CIA), has been accused of lying to Congress during his 2007 testimony about the CIA's '
enhanced interrogation techniques "Enhanced interrogation techniques" or "enhanced interrogation" is a euphemism A euphemism () is an innocuous word or expression used in place of one that is deemed offensive or suggests something unpleasant. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse ...
. *
Keith B. Alexander Keith Brian Alexander (born December 2, 1951) is a retired four-star general of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniform ...
, the former director of the
National Security Agency The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, ...

National Security Agency
(NSA), had told Congress in 2012 that "we don't hold data on US citizens".To reform the NSA, fire officials who lie
. ''The Guardian''. 25 September 2013.
*, the former
Director of National Intelligence The director of national intelligence (DNI) is a cabinet-level Federal government of the United States, United States government official, required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to serve as head of the United St ...
, was accused of perjury for telling a
congressional committee A congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower ...

congressional committee
in March 2013, that the
National Security Agency The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense, under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The NSA is responsible for global monitoring, collection, ...

National Security Agency
does not collect any type of data at all on millions of Americans.Lock Him Up? Lawmakers Renew Calls for James Clapper Perjury Charges
. ''U.S. News.'' 17 November 2016.


See also

*
Brady material ''Brady'' disclosure consists of Exculpatory evidence, exculpatory or witness impeachment, impeaching information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant. The term comes from the 1963 U.S. Supre ...
*
False confession A false confession is an admission of guilt for a crime which the individual did not commit. Although such confessions seem counterintuitive, they can be made voluntarily, perhaps to protect a third party, or induced through coercive interroga ...
*
Forced confession A forced confession is a confession obtained from a suspect or a prison A prison (also known as a jail or gaol (dated, British, Australian, and to a lesser extent Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the ...
*
Horkos In Greek mythology, the figure of Horkos (; Ancient Greek: , "oath") personifies the curse that will be inflicted on any person who swears a perjury, false oath. He was the avenger of perjury and the punitive companion of the goddess Dike (mytholo ...
*
Making false statements Making false statements () is the common name for the United States federal crime, federal process crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making wikt:false, false or ...
*
Obstruction of justice Obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin ''Wikt:ius#Latin, juris'' 'law' + ''Wikt:dictio, dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the ...
*
Performativity Performativity is the concept that language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system comp ...
*
Pitchess motionA ''Pitchess'' motion is a request made by the defense in a California criminal case, such as a Driving under the influence, DUI case or a resisting arrest case, to access a law enforcement officer's personnel information when the defendant alleges i ...
* Statutory declaration * Testilying


References


Notes


External links


Bryan Druzin, and Jessica Li, The Criminalization of Lying: Under what Circumstances, if any, should Lies be made Criminal?, 101 JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY (Northwestern University) (forthcoming 2011).
*Gabriel J. Chin and Scott Wells, The "Blue Wall of Silence" as Evidence of Bias and Motive to Lie: A New Approach to Police Perjury
59 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 233 (1998).Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview
Congressional Research Service {{Authority control Perjury, Crimes Lying Legal terminology Abuse of the legal system Negative Mitzvoth