Friday, July 16, 2004

Crime of Perjury Alive and Well in Idaho

According to the Twin Falls Times-News, an Idaho jury has returned a perjury verdict against an expert who lied about his credentials at trial. Retained by the defense in a criminal case to challenge the integrity of audio tapes offered by the prosecution, the expert had claimed to boast a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit, a master's in acoustics from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in advanced mathematics from the Michigan Institute of Technology. As matters turned out, he had attended none of those institutions and held none of those degrees

In keeping with the apparent fashion, the expert's counsel had sought dismissal of the charges on the theory that the expert's credentials weren't material. But the court denied the motion.

The expert is now free on $100,000 bond while he awaits sentencing on his felony conviction. He faces a potential jail term of up to 14 years, but the prosecution has not yet formulated a sentencing recommendation. Prior to his conviction, the expert reportedly declined a prosecution offer of three years' probation in exchange for a plea to a lesser misdemeanor charge.


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Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.