At common law, a willfully false statement in a fact material to the issue, made by a witness under oath in a competent judicial proceeding. By statute the penalties of perjury are imposed on the making of willfully false affirmations.
If you commit perjury in a so-called first-degree murder case, and you're caught red-handed for the entire world to see, and you get only a $200 fine, what kind of message does that send about lying in our courts? Johnnie Cochran
It would seem, therefore, that this constitutional safeguard may no longer serve its original purpose, especially when, as we learned last year, some acts of perjury may now be acceptable - in this world, at least, if not the next. James L. Buckley