“Polygraph Misuse Complicates Hearing”

Associated Press writer Catherine Wilson reports. Excerpt:

MIAMI (AP) — A polygraph examiner has admitted he broke the rules of his profession during a February undercover investigation into the 1990 murder of a policeman.

Broward County sheriff’s polygrapher Richard Hoffman testified he was ordered to perform the lie detector test as a ruse, didn’t ask required control questions and wrote a misleading report on test subject Andrew Johnson. The report showed Johnson was being deceptive when he said he never shot a deputy.

Johnson had emerged as a suspect in the Nov. 13, 1990, slaying of Deputy Patrick Behan — a murder for which a 26-year-old retarded man is serving a life term in prison.

Testifying on the final day of hearing seeking a new hearing for convicted killer Timothy Brown, Hoffman admitted last week that he violated the standards of the Florida Polygraph Association.

“This test should not ever have been run,” he said. “The test is worthless. The report is worthless.”

The fact that Florida Polygraph Association member Richard Hoffman rigged a polygraph “test” speaks to the true level of his faith in polygraphy.

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