“I’ll take a lie detector test!” Famous last words.
Lie Detector Tests and their application in Mississippi Law is limited. The tests themselves are deemed generally unreliable by a legal standard and are not admissible in Court, absent mutual agreement or stipulation otherwise. However, law enforcement relies on them when administered properly. Personally, I have seen testing and the results impact several cases.
First off, What is a Polygraph Test? A test which measures and records physiological indicators such as; blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity, while the subject is asked and answers a series of questions. Wikipedia.
During the actual test only the test taker and examiner are present. The questions asked are typically only a few and they are asked a number of times, the exact same way. There are no surprise questions, no questions that are not rehearsed, and no Lamp Shades.
The test is measuring your involuntary responses and during the pre-test phase you are instructed to lie about an answer for comparison to involuntary responses during the testing.
Despite their limited Courtroom application, law enforcement agencies routinely administer Polygraph tests to suspects of crimes and the FBI uses polygraph testing regularly for not only suspects and witnesses, but also testing their own personnel, staff and agents.
I have used Polygraph testing in several cases where issues involved abuse allegations. In one instance a properly administered and passed Polygraph test helped result in a matter being dismissed by the Court and helped end a criminal investigation and rightly so.
As for the tricks on Ocean’s Eleven on to how to beat the test…well, the FBI tests for counter measures.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law litigation attorney in Mississippi and encourages you not to lie!
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.