When an innocent person is convicted of a crime they did not commit, it raises questions about how the justice system works. In some cases, perjury – or lying under oath in court – may be to blame for a wrongful conviction.
Perjury can have serious consequences in criminal proceedings and can lead to false convictions that damage the lives of those wrongfully accused.
What is perjury?
Perjury occurs when a person has taken an oath to testify truthfully and willfully makes a false statement contrary to that oath. Furthermore, the testimony must be material to the case. It is a serious issue in the criminal justice system. Of the 143 people exonerated in 2019, 70% had been convicted because of false testimony.
Courts view perjury as a grave offense that deserves punishment. When an individual willfully testifies falsely, they undermine the judicial process and erode faith in the rule of law. Committing perjury in a federal court is even punishable by a fine, up to five years in prison or both.
Individuals wrongfully convicted due to perjury have the right to submit an appeal. Challenging a conviction based on perjury evidence is complex but achievable. To succeed, it is essential to show that the perjured testimony significantly impacted the court’s decision.
Appealing a wrongful conviction based on false testimony often requires lengthy court proceedings. Working with someone with the resources and expertise to overturn perjury convictions is essential. The justice system in the United States relies on the idea that everyone deserves a fair trial based on truth and evidence.