TULSA, Oklahoma. Anything said in court, even if it is later proven false or dismissed, can impact the outcome of a criminal trial. This is especially true when a jury is deciding the fate of the person on trial. The jury may be told to ignore certain false testimony, but the testimony could lead to biases. Whose job is it to fight back when the prosecution brings forward a witness who commits perjury?
According to 18 U.S. Code 1621, perjury is any false statement made under oath or any declaration, certificate, or verification made in which the person making the statement knows the statement to be false. In other words, lying on the stand, lying to a jury, or lying in a witness statement, are all acts of perjury. Perjury is a crime under which a person can be imprisoned for up to 5 years.
However, the damage that perjury can do in a trial is immense. The Marshall Project reported on a case in which a prosecutor told the jury that witnesses had recanted their testimony out of fear. The prosecutor’s statements were later found to be lies. During the retrial, the prosecutor failed to correct a witness’s lies. Later, a court ruling found that, as long as the accused person’s lawyer pointed out the perjury, the state prosecutors were not required to point it out.
This creates a clear problem. When it comes to witness testimony, the strength of the testimony depends on whether a jury believes the witness. If the only person pointing out the witness’s lies is the defense attorney, the question about the witness’s honesty could be unclear. However, if the prosecution is also required to note lies when they occur, it could clarify problematic testimony to the jurors. Jurors are not trained in the law. They don’t always dismiss information when a judge instructs them to do so. False testimony could be remembered in a light that could damage a person’s criminal case.
It is possible that the Supreme Court will hear the case and have to make a determination about who is responsible when a witness lies. Many believe that the state has a duty to uphold the truth. However, sometimes prosecutors want to get a win at all costs, even if it means a person will go to jail for years or decades.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it is important that you have a qualified criminal defense attorney working on your side. The Henson Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is a skilled local criminal law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma who can fight for your rights if you are facing criminal charges. You are innocent until proven guilty. A criminal conviction can have an immense impact on your future and your reputation. Our criminal defense attorneys work hard to protect the rights of the innocent and stand beside those who are facing criminal charges. Visit our firm at https://myoklahomadefenselawyer.com/ to learn more.