In order to satisfy this reliability threshold, the proponent of scientific evidence must satisfy three criteria: 1 the underlying scientific theory must be valid; 2 the technique applying the theory must be valid; and 3 the technique must have been properly applied on the occasion in question. The Court mentions several factors which may affect a trial court's determination of reliability: 1 the extent to which the underlying scientific theory and technique are accepted by the relevant scientific community; 2 the qualification of the individual expert; 3 literature which supports or rejects the underlying scientific theory or technique; 4 potential rate of error; 5 availability of other experts; 6 clarity with which the theory can be explained to the court; and 7 experience and skill of the person who applied the technique on the occasion in question.
Once the reliability hurdle has been cleared, the only remaining concern focuses on the credence that a jury will give polygraph evidence. Historically, the Court of Criminal Appeals was concerned with the jury's lack of capacity in evaluating expert testimony concerning polygraph results. As early as , however, Professor McCormick noted:. It has been widely and successfully employed in criminal investigation and in business.
We cannot in our hearts be so confident of the reliability of the present system of resolving conflicts in testimony by impeachment, cross examination and inferences from demeanor, that we can afford to reject scientific aid in the task Obviously, the lie detector tests have substantial probative worth In most of the cases where the results were held inadmissible no such foundation was laid. Charles T. McCormick, Evidence In support of McCormick's conclusion, Patrick Wall, an expert in the field of identification, stated:.
There is little question but that the result of a polygraph examination administered by an expert is far more reliable than most types of identification evidence. It is hardly fair to subject a defendant to possible imprisonment on the basis of an identification The polygraph, it is submitted, will eventually find at least a limited place in the criminal trial; perhaps the place for it to start is in identification cases, where it is most needed.
Wall, Eyewitness Identification in Criminal Cases More recently, the Fifth Circuit confirmed these analyses:. The major danger of scientific evidence is its potential to mislead the jury ; an aura of scientific infallibility may shroud the evidence and thus lead the jury to accept it without scientific scrutiny Bennett v. City of Grand Prairie , F. The Fifth Circuit in Bennett recognized that factors leading some courts to preclude or limit polygraph evidence in a jury trial is absent when a magistrate relies on such evidence to make a probable cause determination because magistrates possess legal expertise which will prevent them from assigning such evidence inappropriate evidentiary value.
Similarly, consideration of polygraph evidence at a sentencing hearing falls within the trial judge's discretion. Ridling , F. Holbrook , F. Szentmiklosi , F. In Ridling , the Court admitted polygraph evidence and commented that such evidence enhances the search for truth and is competent as evidence of character:.
The search for truth should be enhanced, eliminating some cases in which both sides agree there is no real issue, and in other cases assisting the jury to reach a just result. In this case in which the question of truthfulness of the defendant is directly involved, the polygraph opinion would indicate the truthfulness of the defendant when he says he did not do the act or the truthfulness of the statement made at the Grand Jury proceedings , the basis for the charge.
It does not stretch the law at all to hold that the opinion of the polygraph examiner that the defendant is telling the truth on these points is evidence of a trait of character to establish the fact that he did not do the act or did not lie before the Grand Jury Cincinnati Ins. Perini , F.
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Leaving intact a panel opinion holding polygraph evidence inadmissible, twelve judges of the Fifth Circuit sitting en banc, noted in U. Clark , F. I concur in the court's order because no proffer was made of evidence tending to show advances in the state of polygraphic art since the seminal opinion in Frye v. Had one been made, in my view these authorities would properly be subject to reconsideration.
Johnson and Thomas A. Thus, a majority of what then constituted the Fifth Circuit Court, sitting en banc , invited the evidentiary hearing sought herein, indicating that if the requisite evidentiary showing were made, "[the] authorities [which hold polygraph evidence inadmissible per se] would properly be subject to reconsideration.
Other circuits, which have had the opportunity to consider similar proffers of proof, have admitted polygraph evidence. Oliver , F. Israel , F. In Oliver , the Eighth Circuit upheld the trial court's admission into evidence of polygraph results where "the district court made a specific finding of the 'advanced state of polygraph examination'. The Court noted:. It can be used only in support of other evidence. Relevant Legislation. For more information kindly visit www.
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A second question that was also raised was whether a caution on the limitations of the polygraph would be effective in reducing people's weighting of such evidence. The results of both experiments supported this hypothesis.
The inclusion of a caution was also effective in reducing the influence of such evidence. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the need to reexamine the admissibility of polygraph evidence in a court of law. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide.
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The admissibility of polygraph evidence in court Some empirical findings. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Abrams, S. A Polygraph Handbook For Attorneys. Toronto: D. Heath and Co. Google Scholar.
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Should I take a lie detector test? - Michigan Polygraph Test Lawyer
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