U.S. v. Doug Williams Recap

AntiPolygraph.org has followed the case of U.S. v. Doug Williams with interest, from the raid on his office and home on 21 February 2013, to the indictment handed down on 13 November 2014, to the trial held 12-13 May 2015 (see our on-location reporting on day one and day two of the proceedings). On the second day of the trial, Williams changed his plea from not guilty to guilty with respect to all counts. There was no plea agreement with prosecutors. Later on the evening of 13 May, the content of Williams’ website, Polygraph.com, was removed from the Internet, and a WHOIS search suggests that the site is no longer registered in his name. Williams’ Twitter account, @PolygraphCom, was deleted the same evening. To date, Williams has not spoken publicly about why he changed his plea.

Just prior to the trial, the Guardian published a noteworthy article by Jessica Glenza about the case. After Williams’ guilty plea, the Department of Justice issued a press release that formed the basis for much of the national reporting on the case.

Ars Technica published a story by David Kravets that engendered a good many thoughtful comments, and Slashdot also posted the news, along with numerous comments. See also the relevant discussion thread on the AntiPolygraph.org message board, which covers the period from the indictment through the trial.

Comments 3

  • Doug Williams DID the crimes, and should and will pay a price. To pretend committing conspiratorial behavior does not count is to leave a vacuum for social order. Whether or not he “Likes” or “Believes In” the process; did not give him the right to try and undermine it without consequence. Further, tax payer dollars were spent to train him in that field years ago, and he used that to create a one man obsession after a failed law enforcement career. When you crawl into bed with child molesters, thieves, and other assorted criminals, you tend to end up in the same place they do. Things have a way of coming full circle, as they have in this case. Birds of a feather you know !!!

  • >> Whether or not he “Likes” or “Believes In” the process; did not give him the right to try and undermine it without consequence.

    What nonsense. Ever heard of the First Amendment? Most other Americans (which I presume you are) support it. He had the right to oppose polygraph and do everything legal in his power to end it by exposing it’s marginal aspects. Others, such as the National Academy of Science have done the same. However, when he agreed, after a great deal of reluctance, to train a supposed applicant for a federal LE position to knowingly lie on material subjects he, IMO, crossed the line. Sure he was set up but he should have listened to his inner voice and walked away.

    None of that even comes close to the idea that information about polygraph can be prohibited. The information is clearly protected by the very first amendment made to our Constitution.

    One of the dilemmas truth tellers have is that once one has even rudimentary knowledge of the theory behind polygraph an innocent person is more likely to respond to relevant questions. Combine that with the availability of accurate information which is widely available and you have a real problem.

    Consider the intelligent person that faces a polygraph. They wonder how it works and know that it obviously can pick up physiological reactions to stress. So they are curious. The check out the information, and reach an “Ah Ha” moment when they either understand exactly how it works.

    Then they are faced with the question of what to do. Some may decide to simply explain to the examiner what they know and watch the hand waving as the examiner obfuscates and calls on expertise and authority. Others may take other routes. What concerns me is that folks with the most to hide may spend much more time researching it, pass, and get hired. Others, learning just enough may wind up failing when they would have been great, honest, hires.

    I’m sure polygraph supporters believe in what they do and, after all, confessions often occur but when they don’t one suspects examiners delude themselves in much the same way as the poor folks that thought Facilitated Communication was the doorway to working with autistics. At least in the latter case FC was proven to be pseudo-science as it was pretty easy to set up a double blind test. That kind of thing can’t be done with polygraph as ground truth that is material and puts the subject at risk is not something easily established.

  • Poligraphers have to tell lies about the machine because its junk science and they actually know it.
    Police are especially bad because the ignorant public are led to believe police will be honest. They are not honest and they do not respect the constitutional rights they attempt to weasel around them and even go to expensive seminars where ex corrupt police teach them how to abuse constitutional rights.
    You do not have to answer any questions after showing ID. You should not engage in conversations with strangers with guns and the badge of impunity and corruption. who are in fact preying on you any time to speak to them.
    Cell phones have more truth in them than the North Charlotte police ever will have.

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