Normal Topic Manipulation of post-conviction polygraph (Read 3115 times)
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Manipulation of post-conviction polygraph
Dec 29th, 2002 at 5:18am
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I have posted several times here in the past few months.  First of all - thanks to all for supportive messages , as well as useful info.  My husband was facing a probation violation because a wacky homeless man accused him of threatening him with a gun.  (He has never owned one.)  My husband's initial crime was non-violent.

His Probation Officer refused to investigate properly, and forced him to drive 3 hours away to submit to a polygraph, which the examiner said he failed.  This set off a wave of panic on our part, and thus my quest for information.  (Note:  by refusing to investigate, I mean the PO did not search my husband's truck or proerties for any weapon, refused to question a business associate that the accuser told he was just trying to get some money out of my husband, refused to question my husband's employees or customers who witnessed the accuser's angry and bizarre antics, along with my husband's diplomatic response.  He also refused to review video tapes the police had secured from the area in which the incident allegedly happened.  These tapes subsequently mysteriously disappeared.)

My husband does not own a gun, had no motive to threaten the man, and ran into him on the day in question quite by accident.  He owns a home, a business (20 years) with 5 employees, and deals diplomatically with conflict every day. On the other hand, the accuser has a criminal record for brandishing a weapon, and is a basic transient estranged from his family with no assets and no employment.  Furthermore, the man had a strong motive for being angry with my husband.

The PO took the word of the transient and the polygrapher, and proceeded with the probation violation.  Ultimately, the polygraph was not used in court.  In his "official report", the examiner said there were 3 relevant questions.  In reality, there were 4.  My husband registered "truthful" to the 4th question.  However if that was accurate, then he could not have been lying to the other questions, as the machine indicated.  How did that happen?  How's this for stress to relevant questions - if his probation had been violated, he would have lost our home, business, and a withheld judgement for his initial crime.  The ex-wife had made it clear that would mean a loss of visitation rights with his children.

To make a long story short, the transient was impeached several times on the witness stand, and the judge threw the charges out.  Although the state's burden of proof is low for a PV, they had no physical evidence, and the court found the credibility of its star witness to be "extremely low."  What is particularly upsetting is that the prosecuting attorney had not even bothered to interview the accuser beforehand.  After a full day of testimony in court, he had the nerve to ask our lawyer to tell my husband that he was not being a jerk, just merely "doing his job."   We cannot help but think in bringing the charges that he relied completely on his partial (mistaken) knowledge of the results of the polygraph.

So, this fraudulent polygraph did not result in disaster for us, merely about $10k in legal fees and many, many anguished sleepless nights.  On many threads in this site there are posts from well-meaning LE people who cite that a polygraph should be used as one of a host of investigative tools to determine the truth of the matter.  Sadly, people tend to put faith in this supposed magic bullet.  Why bother investigating anything if this supposedly 98% accurate gizmo can just give the answer?  This is the danger.  Personally, we could afford a good lawyer.  What about all the people who can't?
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box yankeedog
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Re: Manipulation of post-conviction polygraph
Reply #1 - Dec 29th, 2002 at 4:20pm
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Chicbette,

Email me at ih8aliar@aol.com if you wish and I'll try to give you some info that might help assist in your situation.
  
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Re: Manipulation of post-conviction polygraph
Reply #2 - Dec 29th, 2002 at 6:22pm
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yankeedog wrote on Dec 29th, 2002 at 4:20pm:
Chicbette,

Email me at ih8aliar@aol.com if you wish and I'll try to give you some info that might help assist in your situation.


But not before reading the entirety of yankeedog's posts, please.
  

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." ~ Thomas Paine
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Manipulation of post-conviction polygraph

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