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would this constitute perjury?


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  • would this constitute perjury?

    If a LE or anyone for that matter testifies during a deposition hearing for a civil suit lies while they are under oath would this constitute perjury. Even if the lie is by exaggeration or omittion of what is known to be true and factual. Case and point: As a defendant named in a civil suit you are called upon by the plaintiffs attorneys to give testimony. While testifying you out right lie by exaggerating, downplaying, or omitting factual events. For example when questioned as to wether or not you pulled an officers gun out of their holster while the officer was on the street gathering information from several people. The defendant testifies that non of the triple retention safety mechanism were defeated. However, 2 other officers (one being the officer whose gun was pulled from the holster) can testify that they observed the gun partially clear the holster and heard the triple retention safety mechanisms being deafeted and engaged. Second, you testify that you never made reference to an officers race or that you never made a sexually derogatory remark about a female office, while speaking with another officer. However, an officer testified under oath that the above remarks were made. Perjury?????

  • #2
    If you lie under oath it is perjury regardless of the court. Subject to fine and jail. If you do this as a cop the courts will never trust you again and it is highly likely department will terminate you and your life as an officer is forever over with.


    • #3
      Lying under oath is not necessarily perjury. There are elements to that particular crime, just like any other crime, and lying is not the only element.


      • #4
        Would this constitute perjury

        One of the most valuable things a police officer has going for him is his credibility. It works something like this. The more an Officer testifies in court, he will become familiar with judges, and both prosecution and defense attorneys. Even in the adversarial process, a truthfull officer will be known and respected by the three entities I have just mentioned. In it's most basic form, perjury consists of lying under oath. Like any other crime, perjury must be capable of proof for a prosecution to take place. If perjury is proven, or even strongly suspected on the part of an Officer, it can mean the end of his career.


        • #5
          As Frank Booth said, not all statements made under oath come under the perjury umbrella. In order for perjury to attach, the witness has to make an untruthful statement under oath that is material to the issue at trial. Your characterization of "out right lie" as "exaggerating, downplaying, or omitting factual events" might not be accurate. The witness is obligated to answer questions truthfully, but not to volunteer information. If the attorney conducting the questioning doesn't ask the right questions, it's entirely possible that information can be concealed without the witness making a false statement. In the example you gave about the holster, it's possible for one witness to see something that another witness doesn't see. I wasn't there, and I don't know anything about the incident that you're describing, but I can see circumstances where what you are describing would not be perjury.

          As to the statements of ethnic slurs or other offensive comments, if those comments weren't material to the issue at trial, then they wouldn't be subject to an examination for perjury.

          A good example is the statements of Mark Fuhrman during the O.J. Simpson trial. He testified that he had never used an ethnic slur (the infamous "N-word"), and later evidence showed that he had. However, his use or nonuse of the slur wasn't material to whether or not OJ killed his Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, which is what the trial was about, and wasn't subject to a perjury charge.

          But everyone knows that Furhman was convicted of perjury, anyway. The reason is that the DA's office had to put on a show to crucify this rogue cop, and Fuhrman didn't want to put his family through another trial, and spend the $20K+ that it would have cost to mount a defense, win or lose. So he pled guilty and walked away on probation.

          But, so sum up: perjury is not often charged, but it's taken very seriously when it is charged. An officer convicted of perjury is all done, as it is uusually a felony, regardless of the type of trial where the offense occurs.
          Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.


          • #6
            I don't know Pennsylvania law, but here's the federal perjury statute:

            [FONT=Courier New]18 U.S.C.
            Smile Our GOD is a consuming fire! Heb 12:29

            No one is entirely above the law, or entirely beneath its protection.

            Rule 1: At the end of every shift, I'm going home to my kitty cats.


            • #7

              A cop involved in the Abner Louima case in NY was convicted of perjury in Federal Court for perjury. His crime was taking the stand in his own defense and saying he was not guilty at the first trial. This was one of the most obscene prosecutions ever. If you follow the AUSA's logic any officer that testifies that a defendant commited a crime in a case where the defendant is found not guilty should be charged with perjury. In the State courts in NY there are three truths, the People's truth, the defense' truth and the jury's truth.


              • #8
                Just to add to what some of the others have said, the following are instructions given by California courts to jurors who are considering issues of truthfulness and accuracy:

                Sometimes a witness may say something that is not consistent with something else he or she said. Sometimes different witnesses will give different versions of what happened. People often forget things or make mistakes in what they remember. Also, two people might see the same event but remember it differently. You may consider these differences, but do not decide that testimony is untrue just because it differs from other testimony. CACI 107
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


                • #9
                  Read up Giglio vs. United States http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...=405&invol=150 as it may help you a bit.
                  Some people are like slinkies. They are not really fun to play with but it sure is fun to watch them fall down the stairs.


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