David Shepardson of the Detroit News reports. Excerpt:
MOUNT CLEMENS — Federal prosecutors won’t have to tell grand jurors about the results of lie detector tests taken by former Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga and two others charged in a corruption case, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Marlinga, state Sen. Jim Barcia, D-Bay City, and Warren Realtor Ralph Roberts said in March that they had passed privately administered lie detector tests given by retired Michigan police officers who were experienced with polygraph machines.
The three were charged in a nine-count indictment in April 2004, but U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts ruled that the government will have to refile new charges against the three, which likely will mean three separate trials.
The grand jury is set to consider reindicting the three April 20. The three defendants had sought to get their lie detector test results introduced in an effort to dissuade the grand jury from reindicting them. Marlinga had offered to take an FBI-administered test if the government agreed to present the results to the grand jury. They declined.
Roberts noted in her opinion that the defendants — had they failed — wouldn’t have been required to tell the government of the results and that the tests are of questionable scientific value. She also noted that the federal appeals court that oversees Michigan “disfavors the use of polygraph evidence at trial, but has not adopted a … rule prohibiting the practice.”