Living in the world in which we live in today it is often very unusual to actually find and meet a person who one can trust and believe in completely. In today’s society individual values such as honesty and integrity are often questionable in American people. In the United States people look at all the rights that they do have as citizens, and freedom of speech is one of those rights. This does not mean the freedom of speech when and whenever you would like to use it. It means that people in the United States are allowed to have opinions and publicly show those opinions, but it does not mean to lie.
There are so many problems and difficulties in this world that people face each day that they often use perjury or common lying as a way of dealing with those problems. When speaking to a child, common questions like, “Did you do that?” or “Who did this?” are often asked. Probably the most popular answer given by any child would have to be, “I do not know,” and “It was not me.” Depending on the age of the child they most likely are not speaking the whole truth and a “little white” lie has been told. The extent of the “white” lies are determined and vary from family to family. Personally in my household those types of things were not tolerated and were brought to a halt at a very early age.
In some places things like this go on and on progressing into an even bigger problem. Also, younger children like to test the extent of their parents limits, often seeing how far lying will actually get them. Perjury and lying are basically considered to be the same thing, except that the consequences for one could be more damaging and destructible than for the other. Webster’s dictionary defines the term perjury as the act of giving false testimony while under oath. “Either a legal proceeding, as by a witness at a trial, or in legal matters in which an oath is authorized or required by law, as in an affidavit affecting title to property.
In a legal proceeding, a mistatement by witness, made through in inadvetance or mistake, does not, however, constitute perjury. A violation of a promissory oath, such as the oath of office taken by a judge, does not warrant proscecution for perjury.” Recently, numerous examples of perjury have been made public. The most talked about and well known case of recent history would have to be the trial concerning President William (Bill) J. Clinton, elected leader of the United States. This case has been majorly debated and has also been on the minds of many concerned Americans. For many realizing that a public figure such as President Clinton could be involved and may have committed the crime of perjury is unimaginable (Perjury).
In the Clinton “scandal,” President Clinton is being said to have committed the act of perjury by lying under oath that he did not have “sexual relations” with Ms. Moncia Lewisnsky, a former White House intern. In this case both Clinton and Lewisnsky have both accused each other as lying, thus allowing the truth to not fully come out. This case or “scandal”, as some people call it, has been very emotional and embrassing to all of the parties involved, as well as all of the American people.
As a crime perjury is dealt with in a very serious manner. Some individuals that have been convicted of perjury have served anywhere from two years to twenty years in jail. If committing the act perjury, many consequences can happen. Examples of consequences in cases are house arrest, revoking of medical or professional licenses, and community service. In the case dealing with the President, a possible impeachment or revoction of office could have likely occurred. After months of trials, questions, and debating, charges were dropped and the whole ordeal is looked upon as forgotten, for some.
For others this was a turning point to where our country is now heading. Perjury has become very rampid and a rapidly increasing problem. So how do we begin to deal with it? (Perjury)(The Historic and Religious View of Perjury). The only solution that can begin to correct this problem is for everyone to become tougher.
Strengthening and tightening the perjury laws and the consquences in American court systems will increase the power in stopping the crime of perjury, to the extent of the federal court systems control. Right now it is very easy to get away with this such crime. Sure some people are punished fully for the crime, but there are still others that somehow slip through the system unscathed. If we tighten perjury laws, many trials may become longer and more drawn out, which in turn allows the truth to be told.
As a child growing up, I was always told, “Do not lie, it does not get you anywhere,” and now I look back and see that I was being told the truth. Maybe the first few times it works and there are no consequences to be served, but it soon catches up to you. My suggestion would simply be to tell the truth. Sometimes we may not want to hear or tell the truth, it may be much easier to just lie. When telling the truth, we cause less pain than we would with a lie, and in the end our precious values of honesty and integrity are upheld.