2016 Nebraska Revised Statutes
Chapter 28 - CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
28-915 Perjury; subornation of perjury; penalty.
28-915. Perjury; subornation of perjury; penalty.
(1) A person is guilty of perjury, a Class III felony, if in any official proceeding he or she makes a false statement under oath or equivalent affirmation, or swears or affirms the truth of a statement previously made, when the statement is material and he or she does not believe it to be true.
(2) A person is guilty of subornation of perjury, a Class III felony, if he or she persuades, procures, or suborns any other person to commit perjury.
(3) A falsification shall be material, regardless of the admissibility of the statement under rules of evidence, if it could have affected the course or outcome of the proceeding. It shall not be a defense that the declarant mistakenly believed the falsification to be immaterial. Whether a falsification is material in a given factual situation shall be a question of law.
(4) It shall not be a defense to prosecution under this section that the oath or affirmation was administered or taken in an irregular manner or that the declarant was not competent to make the statement. A document purporting to be made upon oath or affirmation at any time when the actor presents it as being so verified shall be deemed to have been duly sworn or affirmed.
(5) No person shall be guilty of an offense under this section if he or she retracted the falsification in the course of the proceeding in which it was made before it became manifest that the falsification was or would be exposed and before the falsification substantially affected the proceeding.
(6) When the defendant made inconsistent statements under oath or equivalent affirmation, both having been made within the period of the statute of limitations, the prosecution may proceed by setting forth the inconsistent statements in a single count alleging in the alternative that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant. In such case it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false but only that one or the other was false and not believed by the defendant to be true.
(7) No person shall be convicted of an offense under this section when proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of a single person other than the defendant.
- Laws 1977, LB 38, § 200;
- Laws 1987, LB 451, § 3.
For an oath to be "required by law" as a foundation for the crime of perjury in violation of subsection (1) of this section, a specific statute must explicitly require that an oath be administered. State v. Douglas, 222 Neb. 833, 388 N.W.2d 801 (1986).
To sustain a conviction for perjury outside a judicial proceeding, there must exist a valid statute which requires the making of a statement under oath. State v. Douglas, 222 Neb. 833, 388 N.W.2d 801 (1986).
In a prosecution for perjury, the falsity of the accused's sworn testimony cannot be established by the testimony of one witness alone, but may be established by testimony of one witness plus corroborative facts and circumstances sufficient to exclude all reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused. State v. Mayhew, 216 Neb. 761, 346 N.W.2d 237 (1984).
In the absence of a statute imposing civil liability, the policy is to grant witnesses immunity from civil liability for damages resulting from false statements made by them, and to leave the matter of liability for perjury to the criminal law. Stolte v. Blackstone, 213 Neb. 113, 328 N.W.2d 462 (1982).
False sworn deposition testimony given for use in a pending criminal proceeding was considered to have been made in connection with an official proceeding where the statement was material to the accused's guilt or innocence; the statement could therefore form the basis for a charge of subornation of perjury. State v. Meehan, 7 Neb. App. 639, 585 N.W.2d 459 (1998).
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