The Corner

Law & the Courts

Smollett and Perjury

If it turns out, as seems likely, that Jussie Smollett staged a fake crime and then lied about it under oath, then his perjury should be treated as a matter at least as serious as the original hoax.

As we have seen everywhere from college campuses to the centers of power in Washington, our institutions and our public life can endure many things, but they cannot survive a culture in which outright fabrication is both common and accepted.

If I am reading the law correctly, perjury — a felony in Illinois — could get Smollett five years in prison and $25,000 in fines. The $25,000 would be nothing to Smollett, but he should do every day of five years if convicted.

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