When evaluating information on a document, in addition to other things to consider, I always ask myself…what was the potential penalty for lying or giving wrong information?

Giving the wrong name of a parent on a death certificate for someone who dies at the age of 80, lying about your age to get married, and lying to get a widow’s military pension are not the same thing. Determining what the penalty for lying was will require some research–contemporary federal and state statutes for starters.



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