Polygraph advocates work to increase visibility

7:14 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Maine Polygraph Association is hosting a seminar next month to raise the profile and increase the use of polygraph tests in Maine.

Right now law enforcement uses polygraphs as an investigative tool but they are not admissible in court.

Famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, who has been a proponent of polygraphs for years, says Maine needs a lot more education on how polygraphs can be used effectively.

Bailey says Maine could save money and reduce its prison population by offering early release to prisoners who submit to regular polygraphs.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and other groups have serious questions about the accuracy of the tests and the constitutionality when used for legal purposes.

"Seeing as polygraph tests are unreliable in terms of seeing who's telling the truth and that they raise real constitutional concerns, we should say that we would be using our limited law enforcement resources on things that are proven to work without raising those same concerns," say Rachel Healy of the ACLU of Maine.

The National Academy of Sciences found in a 2003 review that there is little basis to the belief that polygraphs can be highly accurate.

Bailey says when administered properly, they can be accurate 90% of the time.

"When I say Maine's awareness of the value of the polygraph is very low," explains Bailey, "It's very low. And we aim to correct that the best we can."

The polygraph conference is scheduled for April 24th through the 26th in Saco.


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