The existence of the oath in the courtroom can be traced back thousands of years throughout history, but the use, meaning, and effect of the oath in law has changed dramatically. The oath as we know it was once a powerful truth-telling instrument that our ancestors used to call upon a higher power. It was the belief of many that the oath itself was not sworn to man or state, but rather directly to a deity. The oath has since then evolved as a result of ever changing beliefs, fueled by increasing tolerance, shaping the oath into more of a tradition, and less of an edict. For centuries, theorists have attempted to determine whether an oath in court is actually effective at accomplishing its goal. The intent of this thesis is to examine the origin of the oath all the way up to the present day. It will be through a comprehensive study of federal law, state law, case law, articles, and publications that we will better understand the oath as a truth-telling instrument that in recent times has lost its effect. From there, it will be possible to better form a solution to a problem that plagues our courtrooms: perjury, or the act of lying under oath. This thesis will seek to establish the best way for our community to actively work towards ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of our judicial system.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs;Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Gurney, Nicholas Scott, "As God as my witness: a contemporary analysis of theology's presence in the courtroom as it relates to the "oath or affirmation" requirement within the Florida rules of evidence" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1220.