Bronston v. United StatesAnnotate this Case
409 U.S. 352 (1973)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bronston v. United States, 409 U.S. 352 (1973)
Bronston v. United States
Argued November 15, 1972
Decided January 10, 1973
409 U.S. 352
Federal perjury statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1621, does not reach a witness' answer that is literally true, but unresponsive, even assuming the witness intends to mislead his questioner by the answer, and even assuming the answer is arguably "false by negative implication." A perjury prosecution is not, in our adversary system, the primary safeguard against errant testimony; given the incongruity of an unresponsive answer, it is the questioner's burden to frame his interrogation acutely to elicit the precise information he seeks. Pp. 409 U. S. 357-362.
453 F.2d 555, reversed.
BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.