"But she's my mother!"

<sigh> These questions come up in my mind when I’ve spent all day watching a Law & Order marathon.

On this show, people perjure themselves all the time to protect mothers, fathers, siblings, children (rarely spouses), and when at the very end of the episode, the detectives drag the truth out of them (namely, that they **knew ** all along that mom, dad, sis, son was, in fact the murderer), they say, as if it’s obvious and self-explanatory, “BUT SHE’S MY MOTHER,” or fill in the other first-degree relative.

So I’m asking: would you perjure yourself in court to protect your parent, sibling, or child, knowing they were guilty?

Separate question: would you take the rap (jail) for your guilty parent, sibling, or child? (I’m presuming you wouldn’t take the death penalty.)

It totally depends on what the crime was!

I don’t know. I hope not, but I really don’t know.


I’ve already told my Mom that if she commits murder or some other serious felony, I’m turning her in. She is horrified by this, and has said that she would never turn me in. This is just one of many issues on which we have agreed to disagree.

We watch a lot of Law & Order.

Given that I’m nearly 400 miles from my mother and brother and nearly 700 miles from my father, I’m not likely to be a witness or be in a position to take the fall for any crime they may have committed.

In any case, no I would not. I don’t really care what happens to either my brother or father. I would only be concern about my mother, but given her age (76) and health, they would likely put her into some sort of prison hospital or something. She might get better care there than at home alone.

Most foul?

Not for murder in cold blood.

Is there any other kind? <channeling Col. Jessup>

Only one of my siblings, and only if she killed someone that needed killing.

Is this what they call moral relativity?

Oh, in that case, sure. Family and all that. Well, for some of them. At least one.

Perjury that is - do time? No.

Other crimes - fraud, significant fraud, probably not. Crimes against one person are terrible, but agains the entire community - that’s despicable.

By Death, On The Orient Express, She Wrote.

I would totally alibi for Mom.

Here are two historical cases from “recent” times:

(1) “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski was recognized and turned in by his brother David.

(2) During Kenneth Starr’s investigation of the Whitewater business, Susan McDougal had the guts to refuse to answer the grand jury’s questions, and she spent 18 months in jail for it.
ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_McDougal

Wow, what is THAT Thanksgiving dinner like?

I’d draw the line at refusing to testify. Contempt of court is something I could live with.

In the current reasonably free and democratic country I live in, no.

In the previous undemocratic regime, if it was a political thing, yes, otherwise no.


Then no, not even in the Apartheid regime.

Since this really isnt a discussion of the TV show, I’m moving this thread to IMHO, from Cafe Society.

I would lie and/or take the rap for my child. Not parents or siblings.