SUBORNATION OF PERJURY - PERJURY DEFINED
Note: The trial judge should define perjury by setting forth the elements of perjury or perjury by contradictory statements as appropriate to the type of perjury allegedly brought about by the defendant. (See OUJI-CR 3-18 or OUJI-CR 3-19, supra.)
Statutory Authority: 21 C.S. 1991, § 504.
The first element sets forth the conduct in which the defendant must have engaged. Although the statutory language of section 504 is "procures," the Commission has used the words "bringing about" to promote simplicity and clarity in language for the jurors. The word "procures" may not be accurately understood by many people, whereas the words "bringing about" should be understood by all jurors. The words "bringing about" are synonymous with the word "procuring."
The second element indicates that what must have been brought about by the defendant is perjury on the part of another person. Subornation of perjury should be distinguished from solicitation of another to commit perjury. Subornation of perjury entails perjury already committed at the behest of the person charged. Solicitation of another to commit perjury would be attempted subornation of perjury which is also created by section 504. (See the Attempt instructions at OUJI-CR 2-10 et seq. for a guide to drafting an appropriate instruction.)
Perjury by subornation of perjury has the identical elements as perjury for the perjury crimes created by section 491 or section 496. Hence, in a prosecution for subornation of perjury, the State must allege and prove the elements of perjury as presented in either section 491 or section 498. Thomas v. State, 36 Okl. Cr. 209, 253 P. 514 (1927). See Ex parte Pack, 1 Okl. Cr. 277, 1 P.2d 817 ( 1931).
The third element sets forth the mens rea of the crime of subornation of perjury. The defendant must know that the testimony caused by him constitutes perjury by the other person. For a brief general discussion of subornation of perjury, see R. Perkins, Criminal Law 466 (2d ed. 1969).