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Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:40 AM

"So help you God"

If I have to testify in my son's death, do I have swear to god to tell the truth? Is that how they always swear witnesses in?

I don't believe in a God.

I didn't have to swear to God to serve and defend this country when I joined the Air Force.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply "So help you God" (Original post)
astonamous Jul 2013 OP
unblock Jul 2013 #1
MineralMan Jul 2013 #2
astonamous Jul 2013 #4
MineralMan Jul 2013 #7
Jim__ Jul 2013 #3
astonamous Jul 2013 #5
Recursion Jul 2013 #6

Response to astonamous (Original post)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:49 AM

1. ymmv, but everywhere i've seen or heard of, it's always "do you swear or affirm"

and you can respond "i affirm" if you want to be explicit or simply "yes" or "i do" as you wish.

imho, you can even say "i affirm" if that's not given as an option.

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Response to astonamous (Original post)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:53 AM

2. You can affirm any oath in any court.

The couple of times when I've testified in court, when the bailiff showed up to administer the oath, I just said, "I will affirm the oath." No Bible was presented. In all of the California courts I've been to, no Bible is used at all for oath administration.

In some jurisdictions, the bailiff may be surprised, but no oath on the Bible or phrase about God is ever required, even if the morons in that court don't understand that. Just stick to your affirmation.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 11:19 AM

4. court would be in Utah...

We did our depositions in California and no bible was presented and we affirmed. This was also the case when I was pulled out for a jury.

Thanks for your answer.

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Response to astonamous (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 11:26 AM

7. You're welcome.

Good luck with it.

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Response to astonamous (Original post)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:54 AM

3. I think there are alternatives.

From a 1985 article in the LA Times:

Witnesses in court proceedings cannot be forced to affirm that they are telling the truth if they object to such affirmations on religious grounds, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

In striking down the established legal alternative to a sworn oath for those with religious objections to taking oaths of any kind, a divided three-judge 9th Circuit panel said there is no need for any formal vow of honesty before a witness testifies.

Suggesting new language for that part of courtroom ceremony still known as the "swearing in" of witnesses when religious objections arise, the 9th Circuit panel said the following phrase would be sufficient:

"I understand that I must accurately state the facts. I agree to testify under penalty of perjury. I understand that if I testify falsely, I may be subject to criminal prosecution."

...


I'm not sure of the status of this decision, or if it is now a nation wide standard.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 11:19 AM

5. Thank you. n/t

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Response to astonamous (Original post)

Mon Jul 8, 2013, 11:23 AM

6. You may always choose to affirm rather than swear

Quakers and Orthodox Jews do that, too.

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