This note explores the risk that a criminal witness will lie on the stand when he testifies pursuant to a cooperation agreement. Section II is a history of cooperation agreements and how the permissible scope of such agreements has been curbed in the interests of defendants' rights. Section III examines the practice as it exists today, and how, in spite of the risk of perjury, state and federal prosecutors are being given increasing discretion in drafting cooperation agreements. In section IV, the "safeguards" available to the defendant which test the veracity of allegedly-biased testimony are discussed. The conclusion is that the methods available to defendants for scrutinizing allegedly-biased testimony do not offset the risk of perjury created by government cooperation agreements, but the veracity of that testimony can be more sufficiently scrutinized through broader cross-examination.

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