Normal Topic Failed Poly - Interrogator Intimidation (Read 2779 times)
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Failed Poly - Interrogator Intimidation
Dec 22nd, 2004 at 7:27pm
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I am currently on probation in a southern state for a misdemeanor (non-violent, non-contact/assault/exposure) sex offense and undergoing sex offender treatment. After running up a $35,000 legal bill for several years of legal motions, I was given 10 minutes to decide whether to accept a plea agreement or spend another $150K going to what my lawyer described as a potentially unsuccessful trial. As part of the requirements of treatment, I need to pass periodic polys.

At my offense-specific poly, the examiner did not use audio or video recording. She began by asking several intimidating questions ("Have you used illegal drugs today?" "Have you consumed any alcohol in the last 24 hours?") which surprised me since I have been careful to adhere to all of the probation requirements.

The poly contained three relevant questions (as I learned afterwards) and three questions which were not scored. The only control question asked was whether I was sitting in a chair. I was careful to answer truthfully, since there is no point in lying on an offense-specific poly after you are already convicted.

The results were "deception indicated" on the first question and "unable to determine" on the second two.

After the poly, she asked me several more intimidating questions: "Did you really think you could just come in here today and lie your way through the test?", "Why did you even take the test if all you were going to do is lie?" which rattled me even further. As I prepared to leave, she softened her tone and said perhaps I had some secrets that needed to be shared and that that was why I failed the poly.

Needless to say, failing a poly while you are on probation has extreme negative consequences. I will be required to move into a group home and stay there for the next year if I cannot pass the maintenance poly by the end of the month. My ever-supportive wife is, naturally enough, very frightened that we could lose our home.

I don't feel that the last poly was valid, but realistically, is there anything I can do about it? I am equally as worried that the required PPG I take next month will be as flawed.
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box George W. Maschke
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Re: Failed Poly - Interrogator Intimidation
Reply #1 - Dec 22nd, 2004 at 9:48pm
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I think it would be prudent to consult with an attorney regarding your legal situation and options.

For what it's worth, the American Polygraph Association's Standards of Practice require that "[a]n 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." However, it is not clear whether or not all post-conviction polygraph examinations are to be considered as "evidentiary." The same Standards of Practice define an "evidentiary" polygraph examination as: "[a] polygraph examination, the written and stated purpose for which, agreed to by the parties involved, is to provide the diagnostic opinion of the examiner as evidence in a pending judicial proceeding. This is not intended to prevent admission as evidence of a confession obtained during the examination."

If the southern state in which you reside should happen to be Texas, then see the Joint Polygraph Committee on Offender Testing (JPCOT) Recommended Guidelines for Clinical Polygraph Examinations of Sex Offenders to assess whether your polygraph examination was within the established guidelines.

George W. Maschke
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Failed Poly - Interrogator Intimidation

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