Perjury is the act of giving a knowingly inaccurate testimony while under oath. In today’s climate of false accusations and evidence, it has become an even more pervasive problem.
Last year, a judge sentenced a New York police detective to 60 days in jail, following an instance of blatant perjury concerning a search warrant. Many believe this to be a lenient punishment, considering the impact that lies like these can have. This particular case demonstrates how serious the issue of perjury has become.
A violation of rights
In the aforementioned case of Sasha Neve, the lie started with an informant tip of a firearm in a man’s apartment. Because Neve and her partner did not have a warrant, the pair devised a story that would give them probable cause to enter the man’s property and arrest him.
These detectives stepped over a line with an illegal search and tried to cover their actions with a fabricated account of events. Neve went on to tell this story in court, where she officially committed the act of perjury. This entire sequence of events denied the victim, Jamal Choice, his Fourth Amendment right that protects against unlawful searches and seizures.
A dire consequence
Following his arrest, Jamal Choice spent 320 days in jail. In light of the perjury charges and an ensuing lawsuit, the court cleared Choice from all charges. Though the ending was indeed a happy one, it is impossible to ignore the fact that he spent almost a year in prison because of a lie one detective told a grand jury.
A more severe case from 2016 shows the tragic outcomes that perjury can lead to, and rarely is there ever a way to undo the consequences. It can be difficult to prove false testimony, resulting in many perpetrators getting away with it. Additionally, lenient punishment does not discourage many from trying.
Jamal Choice’s eventual freedom shows that it is possible to fight back against a blatant lie. The Constitution protects Americans from this kind of unlawful treatment.