The Ins and Outs of Perjury

Tue, Jun 19, 2012

General Legal Issues

The Ins and Outs of Perjury“Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”

Most of America has heard this phrase in person or on some TV show or another. Telling the truth in judicial proceedings and to law enforcement is a cornerstone of today’s judicial system and should be taken seriously–since someone found guilty of lying can face jail time and/or stiff fines.

Wikipedia has a detailed discussion of perjury. The specific details about (and consequences of) perjury in Florida are discussed in the Florida State Statutes in Title XLVI, Chapter 837.  There, Florida decides that perjury can happen by:

  • Lying under oath during official proceedings
  • Giving contradictory statements in official proceedings
  • Giving false information or reports to law enforcement during an investigation
  • Providing false official statements in writing

SmithLaw did some searching and found several prominent perjury cases in the US .in past years. One such case getting lots of press now involves baseball great Roger Clemens. He is accused of lying to Congress in 2008, when he denied using steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Another case involves the O.J. Simpson trial—Mark Fuhrman took a plea deal where he pleaded no contest to perjury. Washington is not exempt–since several Nixon staff members were found guilty of perjury, as was Scooter Libby. Rapper Lil’ Kim was found guilty of perjury in 2005.

Florida makes the news again with the charges of perjury recently brought against George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman. She is accused of lying about her and her husband’s finances in relation to his bail amount. An interesting timeline of these events is found here.

Image credit: Naval History & Heritage Command

, , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.