“I-580 Sniper Suspect Set to Take Lie Detector Test”

Lisa Fernandez reports for the San Jose Mercury News. Excerpt:

The man accused of but never charged with being the prime suspect in a string of Feb. 23 shootings along Interstate 580 in the East Bay has agreed to take a polygraph test, hoping to show he wasn’t responsible, his public defender said.

Matt Bockmon, who represents Chris Gafford on unrelated drug charges, said Tuesday that during a federal court hearing last week, prosecutors announced that if Gafford passed the lie detector test next Tuesday it could have a “positive impact” on “another case.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Bender said he told the judge the test would “make the resolution simpler” of a federal drug case that is officially unrelated to the shootings. Bender wouldn’t talk about what would happen if Gafford failed the test, or about the inadmissibility of a lie detector test as evidence in court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Bender should know better than to place any reliance on the outcome of a pseudoscientific lie detector test. His willingness to do so casts doubt on his fitness for the job.

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