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Evidence

Polygraph Tests

In United States v. Scheffer, 523 U.S. 303, 118 S.Ct. 1261, 140 L.Ed.2d 413 (U.S., Mar 31, 1998) (NO. 96-1133), the U. S. Supreme Court upheld a military court evidence rule, Rule 707, which prohibits the use of POLYGRAPH, or lie detector, test results in military trials. Scheffer, a military investigator, took a routine urine test, which came back positive for amphetamines. Scheffer then asked for, and was given, a polygraph test which showed that he had no knowledge of amphetamine use. At his trial on drug-use charges based on the urine test, Scheffer tried to introduce evidence of his favorable lie-detector results. The court refused to admit this evidence on the basis of military evidence Rule 707. Scheffer appealed, claiming that he should have been able to introduce the test results as part of his constitutional right "to prepare a defense". The Court upheld the exclusion of the lie-detector test on the grounds that there is too much controversy about the reliability of lie-detector test results; that lie-detector tests might undercut the role of the jury in assessing witness credibility; and that lie-detector tests create too much possibility of side issues about the reliability of the test.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Estate for years to Ex proprio motu (ex mero motu)Evidence - Witnesses, Expert Witnesses, Hearsay, Objections, Nonevidentiary Objections, Authentication And Identification, Polygraph Tests