The Ninth Commandment: What Does Teach Us? Essay Example
The Ninth Commandment: What Does Teach Us? Essay Example

The Ninth Commandment: What Does Teach Us? Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1409 words)
  • Published: July 1, 2022
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The ninth commandment was a part of the ten commandments which God gave Moses to write down on tablets of stone. Those commandments acted as laws which were given for the tribe of Israel to follow. The commandment that I am going to focus on is the ninth. The nineth commandment states: 'Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour' (KJV Deuteronomy 5:20). In this verse of scripture, to 'bear false witness' means to lie in order to tarnish someone's character. Perjury laws were used as far back as the Roman Republic and lasted from 510 B.C.E. through 27 B.C.E. The punishment for committing perjury in ancient Rome isn't stated in the Roman law. According to my sources, the punishment would depend on the crime and the judges of the case.


Other variables would be considered and would also play a part in the punishment for committing perjury. The perjury law can also be found in England dating as far back as 1563. During this time in England, there were laws that were being added and changed. One law that was added was the perjury law of 1563, '( 5 Elizabeth c. 9 ). This law made perjury by witnesses a crime punishable at the common law.' The perjury law is also used in the UK and has been since 1911.

Although the writing of the law has a changed a little over the years, it has, for the most part, stayed the same stating that perjury is '...liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment...F1 for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to

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both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.' In our legal system today, bearing false witness while under oath is known as perjury and it is a punishable crime. Perjury commonly occurs in legal battles. When a person has taken an oath swearing to tell nothing but the truth but then intentionally lies or gives false information about the person of interest, he has committed perjury. Our perjury law wasn't introduced into American law until right after we declared ourselves independent of England. Once the United States had won the war they used the English law adding it to where they thought it was lacking. Since the founding of our country, the courts had used the Holy Bible as a guideline for how a court should work. Lawyers, during this time, also used parts of the bible to help them practice making arguments. The Holy Bible was even used to help the founding fathers write the Constitution. This is why you find that most laws written then were similar to the laws in the bible.

The perjury law was not officially written into the United States Federal Law or even considered illegal until 1948. Before the perjury law was official, many courts would have those testifying place their right hand on the Holy Bible and swear to tell nothing but the truth. Since the beginning of our country, the great majority of citizens were extremely religious and took the law of both their country and religion very seriously. During this time, politics didn't play any part in the courtroom. During this time people were true to what the law said and didn't let their personal feeling

impede their decision making. The practice of taking an oath on the Bible has started to deteriorate over time. Many people in our society today believe that it is wrong to use the bible or any religious document in the government. If men were angels, the oath practiced by the courts and its participants would be adhered to and there would be no need for a perjury law. However, if men were angels there would be no need for the courts. Sadly, as time has passed our society has changed. One of those major changes is atheism. Atheism is a contributing factor which has resulted in the act of swearing on the bible to be less fearful; people became cold in conscience and not bothered by lying while under oath. Over the course of time, the courts started to see that there was a need for a law that would hold people legally accountable for lying while under oath. It was the intent of the court to make those who have take the oath aware of the serious effects bearing false witness by bringing the fear of consequence back into the “game”.

One recent televised battle where the term perjury was heard often, was that of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Mr. Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct by Mrs. Ford. The perjury law played a key roll in convincing Congress that the man being accused was not guilty. There were many people who wrote letters under penalty of perjury swearing to their own account of what was witnessed by them and to the integrity of Kavanaugh’s character. This, no doubt, carried a lot of

weight as the members of congress considered all that was to be considered leading up to the vote. Another case of perjury took place in Lake County, Illinois 'Former Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd has been indicted on five felony counts of perjury, with authorities alleging he falsely claimed to have witnessed signatures on his election nominating petitions.” Some perjury cases aren’t easy to prosecute. For example when someone is re-stating a conversation and they commit because the testimony is base on that person’s memory. Then, it becomes a he said she said situation and most of the time there is no condition in those types of cases.

Christopher Hawk explains it in a little more detail than I did: “If someone perjured him/herself in court, it's probably not an evidence-based decision (unless the perjury is something which can't be readily proved, like a person lying about a conversation). It might be that the prosecutor's office doesn't think it's worth investing the time and effort to take the accused perjurer to court. It might be that the prosecutor's office doesn't even know about the alleged event (why would a criminal prosecutor keep track of what happens in a civil court?)” If you are caught committing perjury in court there are a couple of things that can happen to you which David Holub will explain in a little more detail: “A plaintiff who lies can have their case thrown out of court. When a plaintiff brings a case in court, you are declaring as the plaintiff that the facts you are asserting in court are true and that you have a valid claim. If you’re lying about

that claim, your case can be dismissed. If a defendant is lying, they can also be penalized. They may be defaulted, or they may have certain issues foreclosed in their lawsuit. For example, if a defendant has a defense that they’ve raised that somehow you were at fault, but they have lied about that subject or just lied in general, they can be penalized, and either prevented from submitting evidence or defaulting.

A lying witness, whether a plaintiff, defendant, or just a third party witness, can be penalized criminally. And they can be fined, and they can be jailed if they have lied to a court of law. Making false, material statements of fact is called perjury. It constitutes a level six felony, and can result in imprisonment for up to six months–sometimes in some circumstances up to a year–and penalties such as fines up to $10,000. There are consequences to lying for both the plaintiff, the defendant, or any witness who is engaged in lying.” Perjury was committed against Christ. Many people lied about who Christ was and what he had done when he was on the earth. Even today a great majority of people provide false information about who Christ is, what he did done, and why he did it. The perjury law is used in just about every society in one way or another. The law may not be worded the exact same, but it still makes it illegal to lie. Man doesn't need to be told what is right and what is wrong because the Lord said in (Romans 2:15) ' Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,

their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another'.

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