California Prosecutor to Pursue Perjury Cases More Aggressively

Speaking of district attorneys’ doing creative things, here’s another one.

The district attorney from Lake County, California has created a perjury-investigations unit to prosecute what he views as rampant, unchecked perjury in the courtroom. And he’s not wrong about that. Just ask a divorce lawyer about the vicious lies that people will tell in court when it suits them. It’s a real problem. It harms people and undermines the rule of law.

In fact, one of the catalysts for the move was the case of a man who spent eighteen years in prison for a child molestation he didn’t commit. We know that now because the child whom he supposedly molested, the daughter of an ex-girlfriend, stepped forward to say it never happened. The now-30-year-old woman was ten years old at the time, and she says her mom made her lie about the man because he’d just won custody of their two-year-old girl.

The district attorney says his office will pursue cases where there is strong evidence of a material lie. It’s a smaller office, but it’s a start. It may be the first such unit in the country, and they’ve already filed their first case.

Says the district attorney, “There’s no way you’re going to completely eliminate perjury. I’m not a dreamer. But we do hope to deter a lot of people from blatantly lying.”

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