CASE LAW UPDATE: Whether there was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s perjury conviction?
Defendant was convicted of perjury. He appealed. At trial, the notary testified that he did not administer an oath. His testimony was uncontradicted. Defendant’s conviction was based on a notarized affidavit he filed in litigation brought against him by a group of tenants. On appeal, defendant argued that the evidence could not support a finding that he was under oath. The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the jury had ample reason to doubt the notary’s testimony, and, that sufficient evidence supported the jury’s determination that defendant was under oath when he knowingly made false material statements in his affidavit. Affirmed.
Perjury is an exceedingly uncommon criminal charge. It is surprising that this case was even charged out and prosecuted. Even more surprising, is that the jury convicted him. And, the jury convicted him in spite of the notary’s testimony that he never administered an oath to defendant. The evidence did include however, an affidavit, which had been notarized by the notary. So, the jury must have not believed the testimony of the notary. Our jury system is vital to our entire system of justice. While our system of justice in the United States is not perfect, it is by far one of the best in the world.
State v. Frenz, A20-0385, Hennepin County.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.