What Is the Law on Perjury of Oath in Illinois and What Are the Punishments for It?
Consider this situation – 'A' is being tried in a court of law for an offense. 'A' pays 'B' to tell a lie in court so that he could escape punishment. 'B' agrees and in court swears to tell the truth but lies, allowing 'A' to be acquitted of all charges.
Here, 'B' gives false evidence in court under oath and is guilty of committing an offense known as perjury of oath. 'A' has made B perjure himself in court and is guilty of the offense of suborning perjury.
Both are criminal offenses, and anyone committing perjury or suborning perjury will be liable to be punished with imprisonment. The punishment prescribed would be as outlined in the law of the state.
Law on Perjury of Oath in Illinois and Punishments
The 2018 Illinois Statutes Chapter 720 ILCS/5 Criminal Code of 2012 Title III describes the law related to criminal offenses and their punishment. The crime of perjury is also dealt with in the statutes.
Sec 32-2 defines perjury as an act, where a person who is under oath makes a false statement that is material to the case or proceedings. It is an offense when the report is made deliberately, knowing that it is not valid.
As per the law, there are four components of perjury:
a) It takes place in a court case or other such proceedings.
b) The person committing the offense has sworn on oath to tell the truth
c) The person utters a falsehood knowing it is false.
d) The lie is material to the case and proceedings and has a bearing on the matter.
The law states that when a person makes contradictory statements in a case, he would be liable to be prosecuted for perjury. During the trial, the prosecutor need not prove which statement is false. The fact that two contradictory statements were made is sufficient for prosecution as long as it meets the other conditions to classify as perjury.
As per the law in Illinois, perjury is a Class 3 Felony. If the person committing perjury is convicted, the punishment is imprisonment for two to five years in prison, with a fine of a maximum of $25,000.
Subornation of perjury, as per Illinois Law, is an offense where a person convinces or compels another person to commit perjury. This is an offense when the person makes the false statement in court, and the statement is material to the case.
Anyone who suborns perjury is guilty of a Class 4 Felony. In Illinois, a person committing a Class 4 Felony faces imprisonment for one to three years in prison, and a fine of not more than $25,000.
The Illinois Law specifies that anyone who makes a false statement or declaration related to their financial standing or the value of their property while providing a bail bond will be guilty of perjury as defined in the laws. Anyone suborning such a false statement while providing bail or surety shall be punishable for subornation of perjury as explained earlier.
Anyone who purchases a federal gambling stamp is required to register it with the county clerk's office. While submitting the registration form, anyone who makes a false statement in the registration form shall be guilty of perjury.
Perjury is thus not just applicable in a court proceeding but is an offense when committed while giving surety or registering gambling stamps. The punishments are as defined in the law and are relevant for anyone who is convicted by a court.