Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations (Read 60635 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
May 14th, 2003 at 3:45pm
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In an article entitled “Blagg interrogation at issue, “ written by Denver Post reporter Nancy Lofholm, published on 5/14/03 and reported on the Antipolygraph.org home page, the issue of audio/videotaping of polygraph examinations is raised yet again.  The analysis of the subject is very straightforward and the conclusion drawn is equally clear.  There is no legitimate technological or administrative reason for not routinely audio/videotaping examinations to protect examinee, examiner, and agencies alike.  Any bureaucratic intransigence on the part of any agency in so doing should not be tolerated.  Only through a very clear message sent by this court and other courts confronting the same and similar issues will the badly needed change take place and reasonable practice be the norm.
  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #1 - May 14th, 2003 at 5:59pm
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Drew,
Something that has always puzzled me about this issue is this. The APA Bylaws require that polygraphs be audio and/or videotaped under this rule:
3.9.8 An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws.
Granted, these rules are not binding on any government agency. But it would seem that failure to record the sessions would be grounds for suspension or expulsion from the APA. And here in Florida, due to the lack of a state licensing procedure, membership in the APA is virtually a must to be able to perform polygraphs. So aren't most of these guys risking their jobs by not recording?
Just wondered what your take was on this.
  

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." &&U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #2 - May 14th, 2003 at 8:58pm
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orolan,

Neither being an APA member nor being a government polygrapher, I must admit I have no idea why the latter group would ignore the recommendations of the former body (referring, of course, to those who come from the ranks of government polygraphers and also hold membership in this body).  As I recall there is a section within the APA focused on the use of polygraphy within government agencies.  Unless the APA considers its recommendations to be meaningless and taken lightly by its members, it is unclear why members would be allowed to maintain membership while in conflict with recommended policy and procedure.  Perhaps one of the polygraphers who frequent this site and message board can explain the apparent conflict that you raise.  Of course, more fundamentally, the reason to implement audio/video taping of any and all polygraph exams is completely independent of APA recommendation, but rather dictated by logic, sound practice, and fairness.
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Fair Chance
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #3 - May 15th, 2003 at 5:30am
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Dear Drew,

My second polygraph experience would have made the most ardent polygraph proponent wince.  Considering it was done by a "FBI Pro", there was no excuse for such poor performance.  A videotape would have made the top ten of America's most pitiful videos to watch.  I assure you that it would have even been painful for Congress to sit through.

Regards.
  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #4 - May 15th, 2003 at 5:18pm
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Drew,
I have contacted the APA's VP for Government and asked for any information or opinions he may have on the issue. We'll see if I get a response. If I do, I'll post it.
  

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." &&U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Drew Richardson
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #5 - May 15th, 2003 at 8:59pm
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orolan,

When you do, please give my regards to Mr. Dutton.  He may be the only government polygrapher in existence to have ever measured systolic time intervals and impedance cardiographic measures while collecting data from a blind stim test (card test)....
  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #6 - May 17th, 2003 at 10:58pm
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Gents,

Just read what it says and you'll have your answer; it's not that hard to figure out. 

"3.9.8.  An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws."

Key phrase, "...in conformance with governing state and federal laws."  Common guys, like I said, it isn't that hard to figure out.  If the governing state of federal laws require an exam to be audio/video recorded then it must be audio or video recorded and maintained as evidence. 

The by-laws, as quoted above by Orolan, do not require that all polygraph examinations be audio or video recorded, unless the governing state of federal laws require it.  Given this, a member of APA would only be in violation if he/she were to not record an exam when it was in fact required to be recorded and maintained as evidence by the governing state or federal laws.

Grabbing at straws does nothing to strengthen your "anti-polygraph" positions.

Batman
  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #7 - May 17th, 2003 at 11:45pm
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Batman wrote on May 17th, 2003 at 10:58pm:
Gents,

Just read what it says and you'll have your answer; it's not that hard to figure out.  

"3.9.8.  An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws."

Key phrase, "...in conformance with governing state and federal laws."  Common guys, like I said, it isn't that hard to figure out.  If the governing state of federal laws require an exam to be audio/video recorded then it must be audio or video recorded and maintained as evidence.  

The by-laws, as quoted above by Orolan, do not require that all polygraph examinations be audio or video recorded, unless the governing state of federal laws require it.  Given this, a member of APA would only be in violation if he/she were to not record an exam when it was in fact required to be recorded and maintained as evidence by the governing state or federal laws.

Grabbing at straws does nothing to strengthen your "anti-polygraph" positions.

Batman


Is that your personal interpretation of the bylaw, Batman, or the position of the APA?
  

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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #8 - May 18th, 2003 at 12:14am
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"3.9.8.  An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws."

Never underestimate the power of Jujitsu.

When asked to undergo a polygraph a prospective subject might consider answering: "Yes, so long as it is conducted by a member in good standing and in accordance with the professional guidelines of the American Polygraph Association. When the usual disclaimers are produced for you to sign, whip out one of your own. Nothing like striving for professionalism.

-Marty
  

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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #9 - May 18th, 2003 at 3:21am
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Drew, Orolan, Fair Chance, Batman, Beech Trees, Marty:

Simple question:

If polygraph testing is as reliable and fool-proof as many polygraphers on this board would like to have us believe, then why not video/audio record all polygraph exams regardless if pre-employment or other in nature; and provide a copy of the test results to include the polygraph examiners notes and chart interpretation to the test subject or job candidate for further review?

If all polygraph examiners possess the trained ability to equally read and interpret a set of polygraph charts, then why not make the results {audio and video} available?

It is strictly my opinion, I would not be such a skeptic of polygraph testing if the polygraph exam results were not held in such a shroud of secrecy, and the test subject denied access to the test results that commonly and unfairly deny innocent and honest job candidates employment.

My question is, why not make all pre-employment polygraph test results {audio and video} available? Is this an unreasonable and unrealistic request?

If the agencies conducting the polygraph exam have nothing to fear or hide, then why not make the polygraph results available to the test subject?

Its not as if Im asking for a copy of the secret US Government investigative Project Blue Book on UFOs.


triple x
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2003 at 4:36am by triple x »  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #10 - May 18th, 2003 at 3:44am
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Batman wrote on May 17th, 2003 at 10:58pm:
Gents,

Just read what it says and you'll have your answer; it's not that hard to figure out.  

"3.9.8.  An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws."

Key phrase, "...in conformance with governing state and federal laws."  Common guys, like I said, it isn't that hard to figure out.  If the governing state of federal laws require an exam to be audio/video recorded then it must be audio or video recorded and maintained as evidence.  

The by-laws, as quoted above by Orolan, do not require that all polygraph examinations be audio or video recorded, unless the governing state of federal laws require it.  Given this, a member of APA would only be in violation if he/she were to not record an exam when it was in fact required to be recorded and maintained as evidence by the governing state or federal laws.
Batman


You missed your calling Batman. That sounds like something a defense atty might conjure up. The clear language mandates that where the law sets conditions and procedures, those conditions shall be adhered to. In Calif., audio recording generally requires consent of all. Thus, typical polygraphs would require consent of both the polygrapher (implicit in the APA prof rules) and the examinee. If your interpretation were correct it would imply at a minimum that jurisdictions exist where law mandates such recording else the section is completely pointless. I am unaware of ANY such mandate.

-Marty
  

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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #11 - May 18th, 2003 at 5:07pm
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Gents,

I find this crusade to have all polygraph examinations audio/video recorded very interesting indeed.

Why not a requirement to have all surgeries recorded in the same way?  Think about it?  Hell, you're not even conscious during these procedures!  A surgeon could be playing vollyball with your liver for all you know, or making crude jokes about your flabby middles as he has to cut his way through the fatty tissue.  And what about those times when, oops, took off the wrong leg.  Wouldn't it be nice to have the conversations during those particular SNAFU's on record?

How about recording simple medical check-ups.  How many innocent women have been, and continue to be, victimized by doctors during simple annual procedures?  Why no hue and cry to have these recorded?

Hell, why not record car salesmen?  Just think about the number of people that are ripped off every year by this bunch?

Lets address the proposal by 3-X, that all polygraphs be recorded and a copy be given to the examinee.  Try going to your doctor tomorrow and tell him you want your medical records.  They are yours, they're a recording of your health issues.  GOOD LUCK!!!  So why the big push about polygraph exams.  There a hell of a lot worse things out there, but maybe just not ones that are perceived to be "easy" targets.

Marty,

No lawyer double talk, just a simple interpretation of the obvious.  The by-law is quite simple, it states what it states.  You can read more into it if you wish, but the bottom line is, if there is a state or federal requirement to record a polygraph examination, then it must be done.  If, under these circumstances, it is not recorded, then a member of the APA would be in violation.

Next time Beech trees has sex with his wife (assuming he is married) there should be a requirement that it be recorded.  After all, fraud is a crime too.

Batman
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #12 - May 18th, 2003 at 7:07pm
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Batman,

Whether surgeries, medical check-ups, or car sales should be routinely audio- or videotaped is largely irrelevant to the question of whether such should be the case with regard to polygraph examinations.

Dr. Richardson's point was that "[t]here is no legitimate technological or administrative reason for not routinely audio/videotaping examinations to protect examinee, examiner, and agencies alike."

Can you provide us with any rational argument as to why polygraph examinations should not be recorded or why any such recording should not be provided to the examinee?

  

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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #13 - May 18th, 2003 at 8:54pm
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I completely agree that all polygraphs should be both audio /video recorded.

During the course of a poly I had with a local PD the Cardio cuff pressure tube broke.  My examiner called for another examiner to come help him replace the tube.  The second examiner then made a joke , saying that to the first polygrapher, "I always knew you needed a longer rubber."

One polygraph 'professional' joking about the length of another polygrapher's penis during an interview.  I dont think that anyone who really cares about their department could excuse this kind of behavior. 

I filed a complaint.  The head of the polygraph division said that both men had been counseled.  I have asked for a copy of the tape.  Obviously something was recorded because the men were both counseled, but I want to hear it again myself.

If there was no audio tape,  my complaint would have just been just swept away.

I know that polygraphers often stop  the audio recording during the "heart to heart' sessions.  They turn it on when the review the questions, and off when they try to turn up the heat on the person being interviewed.  A complete recording audio/video would stop that kind of tampering.

If what they do and how they conduct themselves is so professional, then why protest recording it completely?
 
Cameras on patrol have protected good officers and captured bad officers- same idea here.

  
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Re: Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations
Reply #14 - May 18th, 2003 at 9:34pm
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Batman,
Perhaps you need to read a few court decisions, then you will see the applicable rule in a different light.

"3.9.8.  An audio or an audio/video recording of the pretest and in-test phases shall be made and maintained for evidentiary examinations, in conformance with governing state and federal laws."

The courts have held that the word "shall" is a definite order, unlike "could" or "might" or "should". It is synonymous with "must".

Now that the requirement has been established, the comma indicates a change in subject direction.

The second clause of the sentence merely states that the recording must be in compliance with the laws governing recordings. If your interpretation was what was intended then why doesn't this clause read "when required by governing state and federal laws"?

It is interesting that the requirement does not extend to the post-test interrogation..oops, I mean interview.

I stand on my initial allegation, that being that any APA member who doesn't record examinations is violating the bylaws. If I am told something different by a ranking officer of the APA, I'll be sure to post it here.
  

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Audio/Video Taping of Polygraph Examinations

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