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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Duke Law

2009

Criminal Law

Obstruction of justice

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Criminal Lying, Prosecutorial Power, And Social Meaning, Lisa Kern Griffin Jan 2009

Criminal Lying, Prosecutorial Power, And Social Meaning, Lisa Kern Griffin

Faculty Scholarship

This article concerns the prosecution of defensive dishonesty in the course of federal investigations. It sketches a conceptual framework for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 and related false-statement charges, distinguishes between harmful deception and the typical investigative interaction, and describes the range of lies that fall within the wide margins of the offense. It then places these cases in a socio-legal context, suggesting that some false-statement charges function as penalties for defendants’ refusal to expedite investigations into their own wrongdoing. In those instances, the government positions itself as the victim of the lying offense and reasserts its authority through …