Friday, December 29, 2006

Bearing False Witness

Bearing false witness. It’s a phrase that pivots on two meanings of the verb “to bear”: (1) to give, and (2) to suffer. An examination of meanings of the phrase “bearing false witness” as it applies to the U.S. criminal justice system is overdue. Reliance upon the giving of false witness by investigators and prosecutors results in the suffering of false witness by those accused but innocent. Moreover, all of us suffer when justice miscarries and the wrong person is convicted of a crime. Here we will examine the causes of, the harms of, and the remedies for bearing false witness.