"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Deuteronomy 5:20)This scripture reveals two things that are critical to a nation's judicial system.
- The role of truth. The goal of a nation's judicial system should be the ascertainment of the truth. Suspects should be condemned or acquitted based on the facts. However, in my country, often times the truth is excluded due to procedural irregularities. Guilty suspects are set free on "technicalities" with little or no regard to the truth of their guilt or innocence. While the rights of the accused must be protected, the process of justice must never override the truth of justice.
- A nation has the right to expect its citizens to testify truthfully during a trial and/or a judicial proceeding. This scripture does not distinguish between testifying "under oath" or not, it commands that the truth be told, irregardless of any "oath". It is the right of a nation to hold its citizens to their judicial duty and to punish those who commit perjury.
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