[This page is no longer being updated.]
Following Daubert most of the Federal Courts and many of the state courts have revisited the issue of admitting the results of polygraph tests as evidence in courts of law. This page was created as a resource for those legal and polygraph professionals who are interested in this topic.
No claim was made to have been comprehensive. What is collected here are materials that were on hand and jumps to important materials of which I wasaware.
In United States v. Scheffer (Cite as 44 MJ, 442) a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces concluded that the President Bush's executive order that made all polygraph evidence inadmissible in the military courts was unconstitutional, at least as concerns defendants. This opened the door for the admissibility of polygraph in the military courts and essentially returns matters to state of affairs following U. S. v. Gipson 24 M.J. 246 (C. M. A. 1987). The proponent of the polygraph evidence must provide a scientific foundation showing that the evidence is reliable under Daubert.
Unfortunately the case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The Court produced a complex decision that has some negative and some positive elements. The complete opinion can be accessed below.
An ad hoc Committee of Concerned Scientists prepared an amicus brief concerning the science of the polygraph. A draft of the Amicus is available at the previous hyperlink The PDF version of the final brief is posted below.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed in order to view these files. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, use this link to access a free copy.
The 5th Circuit
United States v. Posado A decision that does away with the per se inadmissibility rule. The Court states, "... we have today opened the door to the possibility of polygraph evidence in certain circumsatnces."
United States v. Cordoba This is a very recent decision from the 9th Circuit overturning the per se rule excluding the admission of unstipulated polygraph evidence. The opinion contains a good summary of the important recent Court of Appeals' decisions on the polygraph. The version stored here is a mirror of the original Internet version which is available at The Villanova Center for Information and Policy.
United States v. William Galbreth: This case resulted in a Memorandum Opinion and Order (908 F.Supp. 877) admitting a defense offered polygraph over the objection of the government. David C. Raskin, Ph. D. and Charles R. Honts, Ph. D. testified as expert witnesses for the defense. Lawrence Farwell, Ph. D. and Gordon H. Barland, Ph. D. testified as expert witnesses for the government. We are working on the Memorandum Opinion and Order and will have it available shortly. I know that it can be retrieved through WESTLAW if you have access to that service.
Dr. Raskin's foundational testimony and cross-examination is quite long and it has been divided into three files so the download time will not be so long.
Raskin Vol. 1 March 9, 1995
Raskin Vol. 2 March 9, 1995
Raskin Vol. 3 March 9, 1995
Lawrence Farwell, Ph. D. March 10, 1995 / Following a blistering voir dire by Charles Daniels during the qualification phase, Dr. Farwell was not qualified as an expert and was not allowed to testify further.
Gordon H. Barland, Ph. D., March 10, 1995
Charles R. Honts, Ph. D., March 10, 1995
Closing argument by counsel. March 10, 1995.
Memorandum and Order by Judge Vazquez 908 F.Supp. 877.
Acknowledgement: The materials concerning the Galbreth case were provided by Charles Daniels, Attorney at Law, of Freedman, Boyd, Daniels, Hollander, Guttmann & Goldberg, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Thank you!
Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Louise Woodward. This page contains the court transcripts of the polygraph testimony given by Dr. Honts, Dr. Raskin, Dr. Katkin, and Dr. Saxe. It also contains the affidavits given by Dr. Honts, Dr. Raskin, and Dr. Katkin. Dr. Saxe's affidavit is expected to be posted in the future.
United States v. Walker These files contain a complete Daubert hearing that was recently conducted in Anchorage Alaska. David Raskin, Ph. D. testified as the expert in favor of admission and Stanley Abrams, Ph. D. testified against admission. The following links are to ACROBAT files. You will need either an ACROBAT reader or an ACROBAT plugin for your browser. Adobe Acrobat Reader
WALKER-Transcript1.pdf Dr. Raskin's direct testimony.
WALKER-Transcript2.pdf Dr. Raskin on cross examination. Direct and cross examination of Dr. Abrams.
WALKER-Transcript3.pdf Dr. Raskin on re-direct and re-cross.
No decision in this case, when posted 10 April, 1999.
The case of Brent Anthony Richter v. Ron Bartee, Chariman of the Nebraska Board of Parole, et al., This transcript shows what I believe to be a very effective cross-examination of and rebuttal to a police polygraph examiner. The judge seemed to agree. There is a newspaper article about the case at the end of the Memorandum and Order.
The following links are to ACROBAT files. You will need either an ACROBAT reader or an ACROBAT plugin for your browser. Adobe Acrobat Reader
Direct and cross-examination of Deputy Sheriff BENCK
Direct and cross-examination of Charles R. HONTS, Ph. D. on rebuttal.
Memorandum and Order of U. S. Magistrate Judge David L. Piester.
John Furedy, Ph. D. testifying against polygraph admissibility (or something, with Dr. Furedy it is always difficult to tell what he is talking about.)
SA Murphy of the FBI testifying against the admissibility of the polygraph in U. S. v. Charles Jones, DCN # CR 960102. This is a retyped transcript provided for educational use only.
A paper presented in May 1997 at the American Psychological Society meetings in Washington D.C. This paper addresses and rejects the notion that polygraph examinations conducted in private for a defense attorney are, in general, less valid than examinations conducted for law enforcement.
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Most Recent Update: 23 February 2012