Perjury: a very serious crime?
To be convicted of perjury there has to be intent to commit the act, and to have actually committed the act of lying under oath. Perjury rules also apply when a person has made a statement under penalty of perjury, such as in filing a false tax return or filing false affidavits in a family court hearing. These laws are to ensure that only *justice* is the court’s goal. Without expecting the truth how could any court of law determine justice?
Legislature created laws to protect all citizens against particular types of misconduct, yet it is within the discretion of the District Attorneys office whether or not to charge an individual with a crime of perjury. It is the responsibility of the DAs office to aggressively pursue prosecution of our laws, but not at the sacrifice of truth and justice. This is usually how it works in criminal court but there are courtrooms where truth is not demanded or even expected. It has become a common practice, the silent collusion to accept unenforced laws that violate civil, criminal and constitutional laws against certain segments of the population.
Exceptions to the perjury laws can be found in family courtrooms everyday, all across our country. Often judges, prosecutors and lawyers can barely contain their laughter, judges can be seen snickering from the bench as they listen to blatant lies by attorneys, questionable statements made under oath, and read written declarations of multiple scenarios each signed under penalty of perjury, all to explain away any charge of domestic violence, child sexual abuse or family terrorism. This cavalier attitude towards enforcement of our laws often has deadly consequences to abused women and children. By watching the criminal trials of OJ Simpson and Scott Peterson, viewers got a small sample of what goes on in family courts across our country every day. Attorneys offered up bizarre scenarios of satanic devil worshipers who kidnapped Laci Peterson to sacrifice her unborn child and in the Brown-Simpson case, International drug dealers wanted to “send a message” to uninvolved parties that they want to be paid were ridiculous and quickly dismissed in criminal court. Yet these same tactics are being used in family courts against protective parents, often with the full knowledge of the judiciary. Willful blindness is no excuse for failing to protect and serve all the citizens, and to expect truth and justice in the courtroom.
The burden of proof for a family abuse victim is so difficult, that in many cases only DNA, multiple eye witnesses and/or a video tape will be considered substantiation. Often, even with this evidence the perpetrator is not prosecuted. The family abuser can then turn it around in family court and state that abuse was not proven to exacting measures, therefore it is proof that he/she is innocent of any abuse. (Abuser now screams about “parental alienation” and a demand for a change of child custody) Multiple police reports substantiated Nicole Brown’s claims of DV abuse and Laci Peterson might have been a silent victim of DV, failing to file police reports, yet that didn’t stop her murderer from mounting a defense of the caliber that usually only presents itself within the family court during custody hearings.
In criminal courtroom, only the likelihood that the violence took place would be enough to send the accused to prison, but in family court the accused abuser is more likely to obtain sole custody of the minor children while the protective parent faces years in prison and the possibility of never seeing the children again for failing to provide the hard evidence to prove abuse beyond a shadow of a doubt. The difference is the fact that DV is perpetrated against an intimate partner, spouse, child, “familial” versus stranger or non relatives. The aggressive action taken by the DA to protect the public-at-large is not usually offered with the same enthusiasm within the context of family violence or incest abuse. It is glossed over and excused as a family matter, emotionally driven, not quite as important and kept in the family courts. The reasons for keeping it a family matter is given as being “understandable” that one party would lie, falsify documents and commit perjury. Therefore the laws are not enforced, and the mocking laughter rings loudly in the ears of victims who no longer believe that truth and justice are available to them.
Perhaps there are supporters of family courts remaining as status quo and have no desire to see these illegal practices changed? It is possible that these individuals may benefit financially from the crimes and exposure of their involvement may bring well deserved prosecution to them, as well as those who originally committed perjury.
Email Valerie at: Justonemom@gmail.com