Admissibility of Polygraph Test Within The Judicial System

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Do you know when polygraph testing made a breakthrough within the judicial system? Polygraph as you know has a long well documented history of proving deception through physiological activity provided during a polygraph test. Learn more about what polygraph testing is being used for on repeat offenders post-conviction.

According to an article at, “Polygraph Testing and Forensic Psychiatry”

“The 1993 Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., however, broadened the test for admissibility of expert evidence. It gave judges the freedom to make decisions about whether to admit the evidence of experts, including polygraph examiners, on a case-by-case basis, depending on its relevance, reliability, and the extent to which it meets scientific standards. Although jurisdictions vary in their use of the Daubert principles, polygraph evidence has been allowed in over 20 states and in 9 of the 12 federal circuits.

Regardless of its standing in court, however, many police forces use polygraphy in their investigation of crime. Sometimes the aim is to eliminate individuals from suspicion, sometimes it is to encourage a confession, and sometimes it is to provide new lines of inquiry. There are many anecdotal reports of significant breakthroughs when polygraphy is used in this way, but hard data are lacking.

Post-Conviction Testing

There have been occasional examples dating back to the 1960s of judges using polygraph testing to assist in the management of offenders on probation but its application in post-conviction settings became widespread in the late 1990s in relation to the monitoring and treatment of sex offenders. By the early 2000s, it was estimated that polygraphy was incorporated in the supervision of sex offenders by probation and parole agencies in up to 35 states, while a 2009 survey reported that nearly 80 percent of adult community treatment programs in the United States and over half of institutionally based ones incorporated polygraphy into treatment.

Evaluations of post-conviction sex offender testing (PCSOT) programs consistently describe fuller and more accurate information about offenders’ histories and increased disclosure regarding previous victims, types of offenses, age of onset of sexually deviant behavior, continued masturbation to deviant fantasies, and engagement in so called high-risk behavior. There is also evidence to show that it can act as a deterrent to reoffending.Sex offenders have tried unsuccessfully to challenge the principles and practice of PCSOT on several occasions. The Supreme Court has stated that it is “a sensible approach allowing prison administrators to provide to those repeat sex offenders who need treatment the incentive to seek it…;. [It does not] amount to compelled self-incrimination.”

Dr. Rovner is a scientific expert in the field of polygraph testing; he uses only the most highly sophisticated polygraph machines in the industry. For more information on Dr. Rovner’s services please visit


Here are a few websites I found that may be of some help to you in your research.

Wrongful Conviction

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