Sunday, November 18, 2012
Juror sentenced to two years in jail for lying during voir dire
Last week in class we discussed the ethical issues related to perjury, including the duty not to use evidence the lawyer knows is false and the duty to take remedial measures if a client has introduced material false evidence. As part of the discussion, I usually tell my students that prosecutions for perjury are not very common, even though we have seen some high profile ones in the last few years (Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example). Now, intent in proving me wrong, apparently, Prof. Janathan Turley is reporting on a case in which a prospective juror pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in jail after he was forced to admit that he lied to the court in denying that he had any relationship with any of the parties in the case. The juror actually knew two of the defendants and also had prior contact with the alleged victim. There is really no ethics or professional responsibility angle on the case, but it is an example of a court taking the issue seriously (by both enforcing the law and by impossing a significant penalty).