In Polygraph Trial, Prosecution Seeks to Exclude Those With Polygraph Experience or Concerns From Jury

U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section Acting Chief Raymond N. Hulser

In a court document (PDF) filed on Monday, 4 May 2015, Raymond Hulser, Acting Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section asked, among other things, that potential jurors in U.S. v. Doug Williams be asked whether they or a family member has ever taken a polygraph examination, and if so, whether they did anything to prepare for it. In addition, Hulser requests that potential jurors be asked whether they have concerns about the use of polygraph examinations, and if so, that they explain such concerns. Of course, anyone who understands polygraphy’s complete lack of scientific underpinnings will have concerns about the use of polygraph examinations. It appears DOJ wishes to ensure that anyone who has been polygraphed, who has researched polygraphy, or who knows of its shortcomings isn’t seated on the jury.

Doug Williams, who has been teaching people how to pass (or beat) polygraph “tests” since 1979, was targeted for entrapment in Operation Lie Busters, an undercover investigation conceived and executed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection polygraph examiners. In June 2013, during a presentation on Operation Lie Busters, CBP polygraph chief John R. Schwartz told an audience of fellow polygraph operators that those who protest “the loudest and the longest” against polygraph testing “are the ones that I believe we need to focus our attention on.” It seems clear that Williams was targeted because Schwartz and others were upset with Williams’ exercise of his First Amendment rights.

Jury selection begins on Wednesday, 6 Tuesday, 12 May 2015.

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