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Seriously can you go to prison for

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posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 03:47 AM
lying to the FBI? I find it confusing when I hear that Martha Stewart went to prison for lying to the FBI. I know you can get sent to prison for perjury if you lie on the witness stand after taking the oath, but how can you go to prison for lying to the FBI?

Did she give a statement under oath? Can the FBI place someone under oath just like a court? Why would one do that? Couldn't she just refuse to give a statement?

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 04:17 AM
There was a lot more to it than that. She was nailed for insider trading, but was convicted of fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy.

Take a look at her Wikipedia page for a more complete story of her trip to Alderson Club Fed.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 05:52 AM
Oh yes I know that there was more to it than that, but the one thing I could not understand one going to prison for was lying to the FBI and that was given as a reason for one of the convictions. I could understand her going to prison for the other stuff, but not for lying to the FBI.

While it is morally wrong to lie it would not seem to be against the law to lie unless one is under oath.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 06:36 AM
I'm sure you are referring to the "Obstruction Of Justice" conviction alone.

There have been changes in how this law has been used over the years, but I cut the most pertinent paragraphs that apply to today, and to Martha Stewart. I would need to review the specifics of the case to understand how it was applied to her, but it stuck to her like glue.

Modern obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials. Often, no actual investigation or substantiated suspicion of a specific incident need exist to support a charge of obstruction of justice. Common law jurisdictions other than the United States tend to use the wider offense of Perverting the course of justice.

Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a person questioned in an investigation, who is not a suspect, has lied to the investigating officers. However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent allows any person who is questioned by police merely to refuse to answer questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so. (In such a case, the investigators may subpoena the witness to give testimony under oath in court) It is not relevant if the person lied to protect a suspect (such as setting up a false alibi, even if the suspect is in fact innocent) or to hide from an investigation of their own activities (such as to hide their involvement in another crime). Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence, even if they were under no compulsion at any time to produce such evidence.

Back to Wiki for more on the law, with links and examples of it's application.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 06:48 AM
Thanks, wow this law is not too specific, under this law a simple mistake or mix up of facts could be construed as a crime.

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