Woodland Hills, CA, /PRNewswire/ -- "Almost no human being can beat a polygraph test," says Dr. Louis Rovner, a noted psychologist and polygraph expert in California. In fact, lie detection technology has become so sophisticated that a polygraph can now detect a person's efforts to try to beat the test.
In a recent Deputy Sheriff Magazine article, Dr. Rovner writes that there are several books and pamphlets available on the Internet which claim to teach people how to beat a polygraph test. None of these, he says, can do what they claim.
Dr. Rovner feels that the idea of beating a polygraph test after reading a short book is absurd. "This is about the same as saying that you will be able to perform a Beethoven Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall by simply reading a book about piano playing." The interplay between the sophisticated technology of the polygraph, the experience of the examiner, and the involuntary physiological reactions of the subject is so complex that almost no one can look truthful on the polygraph when he is actually lying.
"Beating the polygraph," says Rovner, "is impossible for most people." The polygraph is a scientific instrument which records physiological changes in our bodies. Polygraph examiners are trained to look for subtle abnormalities in these changes as a person answers a series of questions. The changes are involuntary reactions that occur in our bodies when we are not being truthful. "In order to beat the test," he says, "a person must use his central nervous system to override the involuntary activity of the autonomic nervous system, and he must do it on cue." Given the anxiety of a typically polygraph subject, it is extremely unlikely that anyone could successfully fool the polygraph.
Scientific research into polygraph accuracy has been going on for more than 40 years. "Overall," says Dr. Rovner, "we are confident that polygraph tests have a 96% accuracy rate when done properly." That statement is backed up by hundreds of research studies and experiments. Rovner's own published research shows that people cannot beat a polygraph test simply by reading about it.
Source: Rovner & Associates
Two years after he was fired, former Fort Myers police Chief Doug Baker wants people to know he is not a liar. He was fired for allegedly lying during the internal investigation into NFL player Nate Allen's wrongful arrest, but a polygraph completed earlier this month found no deception. The polygraph was completed prior to his scheduled deposition in Allen's federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Fort Myers, which was settled last week for $440,000, and Baker released the results to the media on Monday.
Polygraph results are generally not admissible in Florida courts, but Baker's attorney requested one anyway. Baker said he wanted a chance to tell his side of a story that has been hanging over his head since August 2015. "It was important for me to have that (polygraph) to show that I was being truthful," Baker said. "It eats at me."
In February 2015, Fort Myers police officers arrested Allen under the wrong law and continued to hold him in custody for an additional two hours after they realized a mistake had been made.
But Baker's undoing came down to a 32-second telephone conversation he said he had with Capt. Melvin Perry, who has since been placed on administrative leave. Perry is one of four members of the department placed on leave the same day the Freeh Report revealed allegations of police offering protection to a drug trafficking ring known for killing witnesses.
During the 2015 internal affairs investigation, Baker said he told Perry to release Allen immediately. In an interview prior to the Oct. 6 polygraph, Baker told the examiner that Perry was uninformed about Allen's arrest, and he instructed Perry to "get up to speed," make a plan and call him back. But Perry denied that conversation ever took place at the time Baker said it did. His phone records show a missed call. Baker said his records show a 32-second call, but that was never included in the internal affairs report.
Baker was fired on Aug. 14, 2015, about two weeks after the investigation had come to a close. Baker feels he lost his job based on Perry's statement about the phone call, but he's unable to explain the phone records that support Perry's statement.
"I can't dispute what the phone records say. What I can say is the phone records are wrong," he said. "I don't know how that happened. I can't explain it."
CONVERSE, Ind. - A Grant County teacher is no longer facing a child seduction charge following a polygraph test. Hueston was arrested on that charge in February after a 16-year-old girl accused him of fondling and touching her in 2016. Prosecutors say Hueston denied the charge and pleaded not guilty.
State police later administered a lie detector test that found that Hueston "truthfully answered the relevant question." The results of the test led prosecutors to drop the charge Tuesday.
"We were convinced that we could never carry our burden of proof in the case," said a prosecutor. "Therefore, the only reasonable and correct course of action was to dismiss the charge." Prosecutors say they do not plan on charging the teen with false reporting since there is no evidence that they have seen to prove that she lied to police.
"By itself, the polygraph examination report is not proof that the child lied," said a prosecutor. "Of course, the polygraph result is not admissible in any trial other than Mr. Hueston's trial."
Hueston was placed on administrative leave from Oak Hill High School as a result of his arrest. It's unclear at this time if or when he will be reinstated. The Oak Hill United School Corporation says it is aware that Hueston's charge has been dropped. That information will be considered at a school board meeting.
TRENTON -- Sex offenders can be subjected to lie detector tests as a condition of parole in New Jersey as long as they are made clearly aware of their rights against self-incrimination, the state's highest court ruled on Monday.
In a unanimous ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the practice but called for better regulations to make sure the state Parole Board, which administers the polygraph tests, isn't violating parolees' rights under the Fifth Amendment.
Under state law, sex offenders sentenced to lifetime monitoring can be subjected to the examinations, which are used to help parole officers determine whether the offenders are adhering to treatment plans and the terms of their parole.
Five convicted sex offenders challenged the use of polygraph tests, arguing the tests amounted to coerced interrogations and pointing to research questioning their scientific validity.
Writing for the court, Justice Faustino Fernandez-Vina said the state's interest in making sure sex offenders are adhering to the conditions of treatment and parole "outweighs the parolees' limited right to privacy."
The justice also noted that a polygraph test alone can't be the basis of a criminal charge.
However, the court ordered the Parole Board to revise regulations to explicitly state that offenders can invoke their Fifth Amendment rights without repercussions if the answer to a particular question could spark another criminal investigation. Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives any citizen the right to refuse to testify against his- or herself.
Michael Woyce, an attorney who represented the sex offenders, who were identified only by their initials in court documents, said he was pleased the court recognized Fifth Amendment concerns regardless of the underlying charges.
"(The Fifth Amendment) is a protection we all have," he said. "I think what the court is saying is that just because you've been convicted once, you don't lose that protection."
BAKERSFIELD, CALIF - Many in Oildale are still in shock over the horrific death of Danielle Karlen, whose remains were found after the shed she lived in burned to the ground, early Saturday.
Hours before the fire, neighbors watched a love triangle unfold, as Danielle fought with the other woman her boyfriend was seeing. That woman says she had nothing to do with Danielle's death.
Almost immediately after homicide detectives arrived to investigate a fatal fire on Beardsley Avenue, neighbors had a theory. "People were saying I said, 'oh I finally got that b**tch, I hope she burns alive' people on Beardsley were telling the cops I said that, that's why I almost got arrested for something I didn't do", says Lauren Phillips.
20-year-old Lauren Phillips says she's been the only suspect in the suspicious death of 23-year-old Danielle Karlen. Neighbors said the two women fought because Lauren was having an affair with Danielle's boyfriend. That is true, so you could see why people thought I did it, but I didn't. I took a polygraph test and I passed, I was telling the 100% truth", says Phillips.
She says she answered all the detective's questions. "They asked, did you in any way tie or strap Danielle down or barricade the door of the shed so she couldn't get out, and light the shed on fire? And I said no I didn't do that and I was truthful", says Phillips.
Phillips said she was on Beardsley Avenue when the fire happened, and detectives questioned her immediately. "I ran to the middle of the street and stood in the middle of the street, and I could hear Danielle screaming", says Phillips.
She says detectives were quickly pointed in her direction. "They made me strip all the way naked and they took pictures of my clothes and then they sent me home in fake paper clothes", Phillips says.
She hopes taking the polygraph will end people's suspicion. "I'm not a suspect in this crime no more, I want to help them find the real person. Just think the real person is still out there, hanging out with you guys every day, thinking it's all cool and chill when really, you're hanging out with a murderer", says Phillips.
Valerie Lieteau, accused of sexual misconduct with several incarcerated boys, was scheduled to stand trial next week, but a successful lie-detector test Thursday morning ended the case. "I think justice was served," Lieteau's attorney, Jon Cox, said. "From the very beginning Valerie was adamant that this didn't happen."
All four felony charges - two of sexual battery of a child 16 or 17 and two of sexual contact with an inmate - were dismissed. The charges centered on three male teens held in the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections facility in Nampa, where Lieteau worked as a nurse between 2008 and 2011, Cox said.
The defense attorney commended deputy prosecutor Erica Kallin and her office for taking action to seek the truth of the case. "We trust the results of appropriately worded and professionally administered polygraphs, and as prosecutors, we have a professional and ethical obligation to not move forward when there is compelling evidence that would negate the charges," Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said in a news release. "That's what happened in this case, and that's why we made the decision to dismiss in the interests of justice."
Prosecutors requested polygraph testing in this case because of concerns over a lack of physical evidence, witnesses and corroborative details, according to the county news release. Polygraph results are not admissible in court, but they are commonly used to help build or resolve cases. Cox told the Statesman that Lieteau took one polygraph test Wednesday and it turned out inconclusive, so "she said she'd take another one. Because she knew." The second test showed her as "plainly truthful," according to the county news release.
Lieteau had agreed to plead guilty if she failed the exam, prosecutors said, but they did not say what sentence they would have requested under the agreement. If she was tried and convicted of the sex crimes, she could have faced up to life in prison. Lieteau still faces a civil lawsuit that involves the three plaintiffs in the criminal case plus several other juvenile detention inmates who were recently added to the civil case. Cox said he believes the polygraph results bolster Lieteau's chances of beating the lawsuit, since her responses denied any inappropriate activity with any inmate.
Lieteau, who now lives in California, has been on pre-trial release on $100,000 bond. With all of the charges now dropped, Cox said, her bond and her passport were returned.
"She finally gets to move on with her life, and she can still be a nurse," Cox said. "I don't know if she wants to be a nurse now, but she can."
HOUSTON -- It turns out that your eyes do give you away after all. Science has found out that when someone lies, their pupils dilate ever so slightly. You can't see this change with the naked eye, but according to researchers, it happens every time someone lies.
Now a company called Converus is giving this pupil change a closer look with their EyeDetect. A program the company claims can catch someone in a flat-out fib...just by looking at their eyes.
EyeDetect spokesman Neal Harris says, " EyeDetect uses a very precise inferred sensor, and they can measure pupil dilation down to a 100th of a millimeter." This ocular technology might be new, but just like the good old-fashioned polygraph machine, it all starts with a simple question. According to Harris, "When we're asking questions of an individual, we can determine if they're being deceptive or truthful based on how much pupil dilation is occurring immediately after they answer the question."
Converus claims their new lie detector could one day assist police with keeping an eye on crime. Harris adds, "Our hope is that our technology can help make us safer, and help protect us from those that would want to cause harm." Truth be told, EyeDetect "looks" good to us.
Confronted by deputies, he tried to blame his roommate for the horrific injuries inflicted on a 1-year-old boy. But after the roommate passed a polygraph test, Richard Graham admitted to twisting the child's head and shaking him because the boy wasn't listening, according to a probable cause declaration filed in Kern County Superior Court.
Graham, 26, is charged with willful cruelty to a child and is being held on $70,000 bail.
He was arrested Sunday after deputies responded to Mercy Southwest Hospital at 4:18 a.m. and were told by hospital staff that a child was brought in with injuries including skull fractures and bleeding to the brain. The declaration says the boy suffered at least two skull fractures. The boy's mother, Chanti Parker, told investigators she had left her son in the care of Graham, an acquaintance, at a Super 8 Motel in Buttonwillow the day before.
When first questioned, Graham said his roommate must have injured the child while he was out of the room, according to the declaration. The roommate denied it, and told investigators he witnessed Graham grab the boy by the head and twist the child's head on at least two occasions during the night. The roommate agreed to and passed a polygraph.
Upon being told of the polygraph, Graham admitted to injuring the boy, the declaration says. He also said the child fell and struck his head while left unattended in the shower, and may have fallen two more times while Graham slept.