Mississippi: “Bill Would Ease Lie Detector Rules”

Geoff Pender reports for the Sun Herald:

JACKSON – A bill before the House would more clearly give law enforcement officers permission to use the latest in “lie detector” technology.

Many police departments in Mississippi, including Biloxi’s, already use computerized voice stress analysis equipment, instead of the older Polygraph machines, for hiring interviews and questioning of suspects. The new law would allow police who have had CVSA training to use the equipment without being certified Polygraph operators.

Both tests are inadmissible as evidence in court but can provide police with information on where to focus an investigation.

“We have used the Polygraph since the 1980s,” said Biloxi Police Chief Bruce Dunagan, who was at the Capitol on Tuesday. “We now have five or six trained CVSA operators. They’re not foolproof. A person who is a very good liar or convinced they are telling the truth can pass. But they are a useful tool.”

Vicksburg Police Chief Tommy Moffett, former Biloxi chief, said his department also uses the new equipment.

The bill referred to in this article is Mississippi House Bill 309, details of which are available here:

http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2004/html/history/HB/HB0309.htm