Friday, August 20, 2010

Lies, lies, lies. What are the consequences of lying under oath?

I've been asking myself that question for the last couple of years while going to court and watching lawyers ramble in front of judges and juries.  Watching self righteous prosecutors huff and puff and pound their chests in front of the people they've charged and their defense attorneys, trying to intimidate the poor guy who's at their mercy.  If nothing else, it's great theater.  But what happens if the officer of the court, or the state's witness is there before the judge or jury giving false testimony?  Or even worse, what if a prosecutor is standing there intentionally misleading the court regarding the facts of a major case?  What if the judge presiding over the case finds out?  The outcome can't be good!

Most recently we've seen two examples of people getting busted lying in the media, first that nutcase ex governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted earlier this week in his corruption trial on one count of lying to the FBI.  While this may seem like a trivial crime, it caries up to possible 5 year sentence.  That's some serious time for lying to the FBI isn't it?

How about the other guy caught lying under oath, baseball great Roger Clemens indicted for lying to congress, from ESPN...
The six-count indictment alleges that Clemens obstructed a congressional inquiry with 15 different statements made under oath, including denials that he had ever used steroids or human growth hormone. The New York Times first reported the indictment.
They say that Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison, that ain't no good now is it?  Why all the fuss about people lying under oath?  What's the big deal right?  What would happen though if the person lying under oath was a cop or even worse, a prosecutor?  

Let's imagine one of those infamous "Straw Buyer" hypothetical situations, what would happen if a prosecutor is asked by a judge presiding over a high profile case to explain the facts of his case so the judge could understand what the case was about?  What if the prosecutor then proceeded to lie about the facts of the case, intentionally misrepresenting the facts and lying about the way the crime occurred, even going so far as negating the facts and time line in the arrest affidavit?  What would happen to said prosecutor if his bullshit was uncovered and brought to the courts attention?  One could only imagine!  If Blago is facing up to 5 years behind bars and Clemens is looking at up to 30 years, I would hate to think what could happen to a dishonest prosecutor with a history of lying to the court...

I promise, Monday we'll let you all know what the 15 cases of over $4.5 million in fraud that we discussed yesterday have in common.  Till then, have a great weekend!


  1. If the allegations are true then start by filing a bar complaint.

  2. Someone said post a Bar Complaint.
    Niave person the lawyers bar is his UNION!! And they will do ANYTHING to make the guilty lawyer look innocent- I can give huge examples.Just Ask...