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Should polygraphs be admissible in court?

Once called "the strip searches of the mind", polygraph test creators maintain that their lie detectors can detect when a suspect is lying in 80-95% of cases. Should we use them in the justice system to secure convictions? Or are polygraphs a dangerous and gross violation of a suspect's legal rights?

Yes, polygraphs should be allowed in court

Lie detectors are helpful in determining the truthfulness of a subject. Technology should be used to aid in our search for truth.

The illusion of justice is more powerful

Lie-detector tests increase the public faith in the justice system, which creates a more stable, law-abiding society. Explore

Polygraphs are already used in other aspects of law

Polygraph tests have been successfully implemented in other parts of the legal process. Explore

Polygraphs induce confessions

The test itself is not as important as its ability to induce a confession. Making them admissible in court would put increased pressure on a guilty suspect to provide a full confession. Explore

Lie detectors work

Lie detectors can detect falsehoods with an 80-90% accuracy rate. Explore

No, lie detectors should not be admissible in court

Polygraphs are not accurate enough to be used in legal proceedings.

Lie detectors don't work

Lie detectors are not accurate. They are little better than a coin toss. Explore

Polygraphs diminish the jury's role

The trial by jury is a bedrock of many Western legal systems. Lie detectors diminish the role of the jury in the legal process. Explore

Polygraphs violate the right to not self-incriminate

Defendants have the right not to self-incriminate. Lie detectors would infringe on that right. Explore

Lie detectors have an inherent racial bias

In several different experiments, people of color were overrepresented as failing the test when they were innocent. This means that allowing polygraphs to be admissible in court introduces another mode for racial bias into the justice system. Even worse, since results from lie detectors are presented as objective scientific findings, this bias is given legitimacy. Explore

This page was last edited on Monday, 20 Jan 2020 at 10:11 UTC


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