Subornation of Perjury

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Subornation of Perjury

The criminal offense of procuring another to commit perjury, which is the crime of lying, in a material matter, while under oath.

It is a criminal offense to induce someone to commit perjury. In a majority of states, the offense is defined by statute.

Under federal Criminal Law (18 U.S.C.A. § 1622), five elements must be proved to convict a person of subornation of perjury. It first must be shown that the defendant made an agreement with a person to testify falsely. There must be proof that perjury has in fact been committed and that the statements of the perjurer were material. The prosecutor must also provide evidence that the perjurer made such statements willfully with knowledge of their falsity. Finally, there must be proof that the procurer had knowledge that the perjurer's statements were false.

When there is a criminal conspiracy to suborn perjury, the conspirators may be prosecuted whether or not perjury has been committed. It is also quite common to join both subornation of perjury and Obstruction of Justice counts in a single indictment when they arise from the same activity.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines recognize two types of circumstances that enhance the criminal sentence for subornation of perjury. An offense causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person, or property damage, in order to suborn perjury is one circumstance. The other is when subornation of perjury resulted in substantial interference with the administration of justice, which includes a premature or improper termination of a felony investigation, an indictment, a verdict, or any judicial determination based on perjury, false testimony, or other false evidence, or the unnecessary expenditure of substantial government or court resources.

Under 18 U.S.C.A. § 1622, a person convicted of subornation of perjury may be fined $2,000 and sentenced to up to five years in prison.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

subornation of perjury

n. the crime of encouraging, inducing or assisting another in the commission of perjury, which is knowingly telling an untruth under oath. Example: lawyer Frank Foghorn is interviewing a witness in an accident case who tells Foghorn that Foghorn's client was jaywalking outside the crosswalk when struck by the defendant's car. Foghorn tells the witness to help his client by saying the accident occurred in the crosswalk and the witness so testifies in court. Foghorn is guilty of subornation of the witness' perjury. (See: perjury)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

SUBORNATION OF PERJURY, crim. law. The procuring another to commit legal perjury, who in consequence of the persuasion takes the oath to which be has been incited. Hawk. B. 1, c. 69, s. 10.
     2. To complete the offence, the false oath must be actually taken, and no abortive attempt (q.v.) to solicit will complete the crime. Vide To Dissuade; To persuade.
     3. But the criminal solicitation to commit perjury, though unsuccessful, is a misdemeanor at common law. 2 East, Rep. 17; 6 East, R. 464; 2 Chit. Crim. Law, 317; 20 Vin. Ab. 20. For a form of an indictment for an attempt to suborn a person to commit perjury, vide 2 Chit. Cr. Law, 480; Vin. Ab. h.t.
     4. The act of congress of March 3, 1825, Sec. 13, provides, that if any person shall knowingly or willfully procure any such perjury, mentioned in the act, to be committed, every such person so offending, shall be guilty of subornation of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine, not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment and confinement to hard labor, not exceeding five years, according to the aggravation of the offence.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1) If the offense involved perjury, subornation of perjury, or witness bribery in respect to a criminal offense, apply [section] 2X3.1 (Accessory After the Fact) in respect to that criminal offense, if the resulting offense level is greater than that determined above.
Clinton claimed Morris volunteered to poll but did not deny learning that the public was concerned with obstruction of justice or subornation of perjury. Clinton repeated his answer three times in response to the three questions.
Of particular interest is Title VII of the Seventh Partida, which deals with Falsedad, offenses "concerning deceit." The offenses mentioned include "deceit practiced by a wife when she presents the child of another person to her husband as his own"; forging documents or seals; "revealing the secrets of the king"; falsely measuring lands or establishing boundaries; possessing false weights and measures; counterfeiting money; and practicing alchemy (which consists of "deceiving men and making them believe what cannot be according to nature").(61) Also included are the fraudulent alteration, concealment, and destruction of documents; giving false testimony; subornation of perjury; and bribery of, and solicitation by, witnesses and judges.(62)
Consider the federal subornation of perjury statute; 18 U.S.C.
'In light of recent instances when those entrusted with the duty to see justice are the ones coercing and using government resources to manufacture lies, it is high time that we increase the penalty for perjury and subornation of perjury,' the senator said.
The chief also said the integrity of investigations could be compromised by allowing a business with an owner who was charged with witness tampering and subornation of perjury to transport vehicles towed to police headquarters for investigatory purposes.
She said among the charges that she would file against Duterte would be subornation of perjury and tampering of witnesses.
vanGerven, 28, both of 15 Old Orchard Circle, Boylston, were each arraigned Thursday afternoon in Central District Court on charges of witness intimidation, attempted subornation of perjury and two counts of conspiracy, in what police and prosecutors said was a plot to pay a scheduled witness in Mr.
'They know that knowingly coming out with fabricated evidence or false testimony is a crime, a subornation of perjury,' she said.
He said having the tow company's owner charged with witness tampering and subornation of perjury "casts a cloud on the integrity of evidence gathered from vehicles placed in the hands of a tow company and towed to the Police Station for evidentiary purposes in criminal cases.''
"Surely, I know all those who committed incriminatory machination, even subornation of perjury by the assigned prosecutor herself and I will never forget their names.
Johnson, who has also been charged with witness intimidation, attempted subornation of perjury and conspiracy, agreed to meet the victim, the assistant district attorney said.