Perjury in Michigan is treated as a serious offense because it attacks the integrity of the judicial system. Without question persons have been falsely convicted and imprisoned on the basis of lies and deceit, and providing an effective deterrent to such behavior is necessary. However, perjury charges sometimes come about as retaliation for failing to testify in a manner consistent with the Prosecution’s theory of the case. With Prosecutors there is always a balancing in these matters between gaining conviction, not deterring witnesses from stepping forward to testify, preserving the integrity of the system, protecting law enforcement or maintaining a relationship with law enforcement, and the interests of justice.
To prove Perjury beyond a reasonable doubt the prosecution must establish that:
1) The Defendant was legally required to take an oath in a proceeding in a court of justice. An Oath is a solemn promise to tell the truth;