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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62602 Find in a Library
Title: CASE NOTES - CRIMINAL LAW - PERJURED TESTIMONY - ATTORNEY AND CLIENT - RIGHT TO COUNSEL - JOHNSON, ETC. V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - D.C. APP. NO. 13055, JULY 2, 1979
Author(s): T W KAVANAGH
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ETHICAL AND LEGAL DILEMMAS FACING THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY CONFRONTED WITH POSSIBLE CLIENT PERJURY ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: UNDER SECTION 7.7 OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION PROJECT ON STANDARDS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE, IF A DEFENDANT INSISTS UPON TESTIFYING FALSELY, THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY MAY NOT LEND AID TO THE PERJURY AND MUST LIMIT HIS OR HER PARTICIPATION TO IDENTIFYING THE WITNESS AS THE DEFENDANT AND ALLOWING TESTIMONY BEFORE THE COURT WITHOUT DIRECT EXAMINATION OR THE USE OF THE FALSE TESTIMONY IN THE CLOSING ARGUMENT. IN THE CASE OF JOHNSON, ETC. V. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, NO. 13055 (D.C. APP. JULY 2, 1979), THE COURT INSTRUCTED DEFENSE COUNSEL TO ABIDE BY THESE RESTRICTIONS WHEN IT BECAME KNOWN TO THE COURT THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS GOING TO TESTIFY TO FACTS CONTRARY TO INFORMATION PROVIDED BY PROSECUTION WITNESSES. UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS, THE DEFENDANT DECIDED NOT TO TESTIFY, AND HE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY CONVICTED BY THE JURY. THE DEFENSE APPEALED UPON THE GROUNDS THAT THE COURT HAD UNNECESSARILY RESTRICTED THE RIGHT TO THE DEFENDANT TO TESTIFY ON HIS OWN BEHALF WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COURT OF APPEALS AGREED WITH THE DEFENSE THAT THE INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE INTENDED TESTIMONY OF THE DEFENDANT AND EVIDENCE ALREADY PRESENTED BY PROSECUTION WITNESSES WAS INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DEFENDANT'S TESTIMONY WOULD BE FALSE. THE COURT'S RESTRICTIONS ON THE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL WERE, THEREFORE, UNWARRANTED. THE APPELLATE RULING LIMITS THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE COURT IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ATTORNEY ETHICS. IT IS LEFT TO THE DEFENSE COUNSEL TO DETERMINE, ON THE BASIS OF PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE, WHETHER A CLIENT'S TESTIMONY IS PERJURED AND TO ACT ACCORDINGLY IN RESTRICTING PARTICIPATION IN PERJURED TESTIMONY, WITHOUT DAMAGING THE CLIENT BY TELEGRAPHING TO THE COURT THAT HE OR SHE BELIEVES THE TESTIMONY TO BE FALSE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Defendants; Defense counsel; Judicial decisions; Perjury
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62602

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