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criminal offense of making false statements under oath. In common law, only a willful and corrupt sworn statement made without sincere belief in its truth, and made in a judicial proceeding regarding a material matter, was perjury. Today, statutes have broadened the offense so that in some jurisdictions any false swearing in a legal instrument or legal setting is perjury. See also subornation of perjury. EXAMPLE: Sheila is charged with robbery. At her trial, Tomas, Sheila's boyfriend, admits to the crime, which results in a "not guilty" verdict for Sheila. Because of a procedural technicality, Tomas cannot be tried for the robbery. But if the prosecution can prove that Tomas lied about committing the crime, he could then be prosecuted for perjury. Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016

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