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What is the definition of perjury?

What is the legal definition of perjury?  Perjury generally means providing false testimony about a material fact while under oath or affirmation with the willful intent to do so, rather than as a result of mistake, faulty memory or confusion.

That broad term splits the definition, meaning if a person lies to a government official they can be charged with perjury.  The same law applies to a person who lies to a grand jury.

Recently appointed U.S. Senator Roland Burris is being investigated for perjury by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office and the Senate Ethics Committee.  This after questions arose as to whether he told the truth before the Illinois House of Representatives about about how he came to be appointed to the senate seat.

Baseball legend Barry Bonds was indicted for lying to a federal grand jury about his use of performance enhancing drugs.  Also, former Streets and Sanitation employee Aaron Del Valle was recently convicted of one count of perjury as co-defendant with Al Sanchez in the hired trucks scandal.


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