What happens if you refuse to swear on a bible on the witness stand?

ScottMac

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Mar 19, 2001
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The typical swearing in statement is usually " Do you hearby swear(on the bible) or affirm (no bible) to tell the truth ...."

With or without the bible, you are under oath to tell the truth.

Crossing your fingers or toes, yelling "Psych !!", and/or telling the Judge "I was only kidding" does not release you from your personal affirmation to speak the truth.

Good Luck

Scott
 

Broohaha

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Jan 4, 2001
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Originally posted by: ScottMac
Crossing your fingers or toes, yelling "Psych !!", and/or telling the Judge "I was only kidding" does not release you from your personal affirmation to speak the truth.


HAHAHA good stuff :D

 

GagHalfrunt

Lifer
Apr 19, 2001
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If your objection is to the bible itself, you can affirm, which carries the same weight without the BS religious undertones. If you don't want to swear simply because you don't want to swear, you're screwed. That isn't an option, if called before the court you MUST be sworn in, even if refusing to testify because of 5th Amendment rights, doctor-patient privilege, etc. Refusal to either swear on the bible or take a legally binding oath is contempt of court, they'll lock you up until you comply.
 

godmare

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Sep 25, 2002
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Whatever president that was sowre into office on a lawbook instead of a bible.
I don't remember which one....
 

DnetMHZ

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Apr 10, 2001
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Originally posted by: GagHalfrunt
If your objection is to the bible itself, you can affirm, which carries the same weight without the BS religious undertones. If you don't want to swear simply because you don't want to swear, you're screwed. That isn't an option, if called before the court you MUST be sworn in, even if refusing to testify because of 5th Amendment rights, doctor-patient privilege, etc. Refusal to either swear on the bible or take a legally binding oath is contempt of court, they'll lock you up until you comply.

I'm just saying that if ever called I wouldn't swear on a bible (12 years of catholic school convinced me) but I wouldn't refuse to testify.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
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God will smite thee with those two stone tablets outside the courtroo...oh nevermind, those were removed...
 

GagHalfrunt

Lifer
Apr 19, 2001
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Originally posted by: BurnItDwn
Swear on a Copy of the constitution or something else important.

Something equally important to the Bible? Good idea, but where is the court going to come up with a used chili dog wrapper on a moments notice? The bible part is tradition, it's not even a law. There's no statute that mandates swearing in on a bible, that just hearkens back to our Puritanical beginnings. A lot of oaths of office don't even bother with it anymore, they just use simple affirmations. There is no document of any sort required, no bible, no constitution, no copy of Playboy, they all carry the same legal weight, ZERO. The oath is what counts, the book is merely a prop.

And BTW, if you want to know what men put their hands on to swear an oath before they started using a bible, look up the origins of the word "testimony".