Perjury CasesSpecial Problems and Defenses --
The perjury trap is a form of entrapment defense, and thus must be
affirmatively proven by the defendant. The defense is rarely proven, even
the claim is relatively common when grand jury testimony gives rise to
charges. See Gershman, The Perjury Trap, 129 U. Pa. L. Rev.
(1981). The defense requires that the defendant show the false answer was
illegally procured by the government. Thus, when the grand jury is
to obtain useful information in furtherance of its investigation, the
trap doctrine does not apply. United States v. Brown, 49 F.3d 1162,
(6th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 377 (1995); United States
Chen, 933 F.2d 793, 797 (9th Cir. 1991).|
PRACTICE TIP: The United States Supreme Court has ruled that there
also no duty to warn the witness of the consequences of committing perjury.
United States v. Mandujano, 425 U.S. 564 (1976). Department
however, require prosecutors to give warnings resembling Miranda
to subjects or targets of grand jury investigations and to advise putative
defendants of their status as such. See USAM 9-11.151. When the defendant claims a
perjury trap, those warnings demonstrate that the prosecutor did not call
witness to induce perjury, but rather to seek truthful testimony. United
States v. Williams, 874 F.2d 968, 974-75 (5th Cir. 1989). Failure to
those warnings does not constitute grounds for dismissal of an indictment.
United States v. Washington, 431 U.S. 181 (1977).
[cited in USAM 9-69.200]