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canadian Legal system and the polygraph - serious real life questions

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posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 10:46 PM
This is a situation a very good friend is going through currently and though it seems pretty cut and dried....we're scared for the family.

In short:

My good friend's husband has been accused, NOT formally charged with something (it shouldn't matter what the charge is however if it did go to court it would be a criminal case/investigation).

He is innocent without a shadow of doubt and has a multitude of very close family and friends who will attest to this, no history of prior accusations, nor any history of legal troubles (except parking tickets).

he went for a 2 and a half hour interview at the cop shop today and at the end of the interview he was told basically that they did not have any sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation or to lay any formal charges...but would he like to have a polygraph done...?

he was quite taken aback by the offer of a polygraph and said he'd like to consult a lawyer before making any decision.

I know that in Canadian Criminal proceedings a polygraph is NOT admissible as evidence...but does refusing one automatically make one guilty???

Accuracy??? how accurate a measure of innocence or guilt are they.

Why would the police offer one if they admitted not having enough evidence anyway to proceed with formal charges?

I've read so many conflicting reports on the validity of the tests and the numerous factors involved including the test administers, mental state, Control questions etc...

He really does not want to take the test and I am sorely confused. Is it possible to fail a test even if you are innocent? Is it possible to request a retest if the results are inconclusive or offer a false-positive?

Is he perhaps being trapped?

What other tests should he be asking for in conjunction with this test in his defense? It is an accusation that involves a psychological issue or a predisposition to a psychological issue...mabey he should just get a shrink's write up as to his mental state??? Or in conjunction with???

Or should he just tell em no thanks, I've told the truth and it's up to you to prove otherwise???

The family is in turmoil and my own opinion is, why the hell would you refuse it if you're's another item for the truth pile right?

My opinion may be naive and I may be missing something. I am fairly knowledgeable about Canadian law but I'm no lawyer.

Unless he can clear his name in a way that is deemed conclusive his life is ruined and his family's life is also.

I told him he was fine and well within his rights to want to run it past a lawyer first before agreeing...but I'm still shaking my head as to why he'd refuse and or not want to take it.

take it and pass and it's all good. he'll pass because he didn't do what he's accused of. that seems to easy it???

I'd love opinions or suggestions on this if anyone has had a polygraph experience or knows how the police use the polygraph testing and under what circumstances they "really" offer it.

MODS: I figured this was Scientific and technology related...polygraph testing has become more and more prevalent in society and many businesses including the RCMP and CSIS use it to screen recruits....if it belongs elsewhere please feel free to move it

[edit on 1/29/2009 by justgeneric]

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:21 PM
Polygraph machines have been proven to be flawed and innocent people have been convicted based on these machines. This is a very interesting site to check out I'm sorry that you have been accused of child molestation, and hopefully the truth will prevail.

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:42 PM
The cop may have been suggesting the polygraph as a way to prove he's innocent. Yes, they're flawed and not admissible. But many people think a polygraph is "proof" one way or another.

His lawyer will have the best advice on the situation.

Raytheon makes my husband take polygraphs as part of his security certification (I have no idea why, and since he has security clearance, this is ALL I know about the situation.)

[edit on 29-1-2009 by Byrd]

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 11:57 PM
God people need to realise that the best thing you can say to a cop is nothing! tell them what you are legally required to such as name address IF your employed (you dont have to tell them where) and your date of birth. He is well within his rights to refuse a polygraph test, there have been test saying that they are only 61% accurate which is a little more than chance. Regardless of that as soon as he found out they have no evidence he should just say 'Alright lets get out of here.' and leave.

I strongly reccomend him NOT to take the test at all, in no way does it make him guilty. It would be like winning 10,000 dollers and it put into your hand, then someone saying 'Hey there do you want me to go put that in the bank for you?' i mean theres a chance he might go and do exactly that, theres also a chance he might run away with your money.

But yea do not tell him to take the test, it could just make everything alot more complicated for everyone. ESPECIALLY if you genuinely believe he is innocent.

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 03:44 AM
Thanks all...I've been reading a lot and I am happy that he chose not to agree right away...he will be speaking to a lawyer.

I had always figured that polygraph was more reliable seeing as it is widely used in many fields as a companion tool to other more proven methods of truth detection or psychological type profiling.

Everything I have read suggests that polygraphs are great for those already proven to have lied...such as those in prison or convicted child molesters/pedophiles etc...where there is already enough proof of guilt..the polygraph is used as a followup to make sure they are not engaging in dangerous behavior again/still or currently.

Most studies suggest that the accuracy of determining truth is very very low considering and comparative to that of those who are actually guilty.

Seeing as the police have stated they haven't enough to go forward with formal charges it will be referred back to his employer and their investigators, but the police report will STATE that he declined a polygraph when offered.

I suppose at that point they can demand he take a test or be fired and that it would be their dime...

I really thought they were more reliable and I am surprised that they really are not (from a legal standpoint) considered in testimony or defense unless a test and retest show BOTH a fail or pass on both tests..otherwise it's deemed inconclusive.

Why do they use them if they are so unreliable? My guess is that they are a great trap for the truly guilty who are egotistical enough to think they can pass easily.

I read one report that stated (in a test of guilty persons who really were guilty) that the success rate was 97% but in the same test with innocent people (who were truly innocent) the rate was only 77%!!!!

I feel bad I gave him a bit of a hard time about why he wouldn't want to take a quickie test to clear himself more quickly...but now I see how wrong I was!

It's actually quite scary how prevalent the use of polygraphs are in policing...both civic and RCMP forces use them all the time. Most feel (as I would) guilty if they refuse...but it is 100% voluntary and as was pointed out, not an admission of guilt (legally but it will likely be seen as guilt from others).

Right now it's all his word against another's...too bad there wasn't a truly effective way to prove truth and innocence this family could use it!!

Thanks again for all the input

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 07:41 AM
hmm id say if the company fired him because he didnt he would be able to build a pretty good case against them, probably get alot of money....

posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 07:54 AM
My two cents...
Polygraphs can be very reliable - what makes a huge difference is the skill of the operator to ensure the questioning yields the best results.
What else influences their readings is how nervous the person getting tested is - so yes, if someone is innocent and incredibly upset about it all, the reading could become "inconclusive" or even lying when it isn't.
Bottom line: Do not talk to the police. Do not offer them any information at all. They are not your friend and will use anything you say as its their job in investigating. Any lawyer will tell you that. They cannot 'make' you do anything including making a statement. If there's ANY doubt re your friend's innocence, stop talking to the police period! It is up to the prosecutor to PROVE someone is guilty, not the accused to PROVE they are innocent - but yes, our system will eat up innocent people who are innocent but caught in the system's lies and set ups which I've personally seen happen to people.
Not sure what province you're in - most have legal aid where you can talk to a lawyer for only ten dollars or other for advice - use it! Go in with a list of questions - and my other advice - whenever working with a lawyer, tell the lawyer the results you want - don't let the lawyer dictate to you - the lawyer knows the law, but you know what you need and the lawyer's job is to get it for you without doing it to you if you know what I mean...

Good luck.

posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 12:33 AM
I have heard that (at least in America) cops are not legally bound to tell you the truth about anything. If your friend's husband takes a polygraph, and they ask him if he did something, and he says no, and it reads as truthful, the cops could still tell him, and his lawyer, that it read as a lie. They could then use this as an excuse to continue questioning.

Again, I'm not positive on this, it might be something to ask his lawyer.

posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 06:37 AM
Loathsome machines; he should just tell the authorities that because the polygraph machine is not admissible as evidence, he sees no value in being tested with it.

posted on Jan, 31 2009 @ 11:48 AM

posted on Feb, 1 2009 @ 10:05 AM
to trauma:

I'm sorry that you have been accused of child molestation, and hopefully the truth will prevail.

thanks for you reply but WTF???

I realize some posts start off with "my friend"...but this really is a friend's issue LMAO...I realize it's a conspiracy website but how the hell and where do you read anything about "child molestation" in there????

Adding a few more ?????????? just cuz I'm perplexed albeit amused.

Just wondering. Kinda scratchin' my head and wondering what the world has come to when that is someone's first thought...



thanks for all the replies.

As expected it was referred back to his employer and further interviews are being set up. The employer asked for a list of people close to the family. particularly the husband's friends and family (he has an ex and kids from a previous marriage). character witnesses is what it all comes down to.

Should all be over relatively soon we hope...he's still been on payroll through out the investigation.

As for the polygraph - the employer has stated they will not request a polygraph and will instead base the decision upon further interviews. They did express concern that he refused the test, but seeing as the police found/were given no evidence (no video surveillance from workplace cameras or anything) they really haven't anything more to do but refer it back to the employer to deal with internally.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by justgeneric]

and I forgot! he is looking at a possible suit against his employer regarding the accusation, interruptions in work (although he was retained on payroll). the Lawyer is making plans in the event he is terminated...gotta love lawyers.

[edit on 2/1/2009 by justgeneric]

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