Posted by Patrick Henry on September 21, 1998 at 15:20:19:
In Reply to: Verifications under penalty of perjury posted by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. on September 20, 1998 at 19:52:52:
According to extant legal definitions, you are technically correct. However, it has been my experience that most jurisdictions have bastardized the meaning of word affirmation, and have made it synonymous with "sworn oath." I therefore avoid like a plague the use of the word affidavit. I usually "declare," "certify," or "verify" since those terms do not yet appear to be tainted.
I have caused consternation in more than one court when I or an individual I was coaching have refused to take an oath or affirmation. One court recessed for twenty minutes while the judge looked up the law to see if "he could accept" my declaration in lieu of an oath or affirmation. I told him he didn't have a choice, since the Ninth Circuit ruled in Gordon v Idaho that the courts must accept whatever form is most binding upon the conscious of the witness.
I generally use the following or similar wording: "I, Patrick Henry, under judgment of Yahewh's Law, declare the following to be the truth as I understand it." If I am in a forum which absolutely requires it, I extend it to say "... under judgment of Yahweh's Law, and subject to the penalty of perjury, ...".
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