Forensic polygraph test applications in law, justice
Forensic psychophysiology (legal polygraph exams). There seems to be an idea in the broad public that polygraph tests are not used in legal settings. This notion is based on urban myths, rather than on facts.
All over the world legal systems have been using and applying evidence presented during polygraph tests to improve the justice process. Turkey has definitely everything to gain from understanding what forensic polygraphy is and how this methodology can help the Turkish judicial system to make better informed and thus fairer decisions.
A forensic polygraph test follows a scientifically tested and validated methodology that allows a founded opinion one someone’s statement. This is mainly important in legal cases where physical evidence is hard or impossible to obtain.
This is why this forensic tool has gained ground in the justice system, not only because it analyzes somebody’s knowledge about a crime, felony, action but also because it does it in a traceable and scientifically founded way.
Polygraph tests in criminal law
Polygraph tests in criminal law, justice, is where most scrutiny is placed on. When the freedom or liberty of somebody is at stake, it is important that justice guarantees due process.
There are three parties involved in justice, accusation, defendant and the judge. At least two parties parties can try to use polygraph tests to make their case, the accusation and the defendant. Almost naturally a stronger scrutiny is placed on the evidence presented by the accusation, as it has the burden of prove.
Nevertheless, it is the defendant side that in most cases requests the assistance of a forensic psychophysiologist to help in their defense.
Especially with new legislation where certain behavior is seen as a crime can make judging difficult.
Crimes against sexual freedom, domestic violence, bullying, harassment, etc. can be difficult to judge because they are mainly based on somebody’s verbal accusation without any access to physical evidence.
How do forensic polygraphy tests work?
A forensic polygraph exam or forensic psychophysiological expertise follows the same patterns as a normal polygraph test. It has, however, important differences that will ask for very specific skills.
For instance, case study will take an important role in test development and preparation. Sometimes, the complete case has to be studied to understand the punishable actions or action the accusation is basing it’s suit on.
The expert needs to understand the defense strategy and see if the available polygraph techniques allow to cater to this goal. The use of the right validated polygraph technique is important.
Where the real difference can be seen is in the final written polygraph report where the complete process as well as results must be explained and scientifically proven. This process is the longest and can take a couple of days to finalize.
The steps can be divided as normal polygraph exams but with a bigger burden and emphasis on case study and written polygraph report
- Case study
- Definition of case objective
- Signing of consent form
- Explanation of polygraph instrument and test phases
- Pretest interview
- Registration of physiological data
- Physiological data analysis
- Post-test interview
- Elaboration of written polygraph exam report
Polygraph exams, lie detection for lawyers in Turkey
Polygraph exams for defense lawyers in Turkey are becoming more and more important. It is not always straightforward to defend somebody that has been wrongfully accused of criminal behavior. Especially if these accusations rely on verbal statements and are not sustained by physical evidence.
Physical evidence can also be planted or wrongfully interpreted by the accusation, which will lead to erroneous criminal lawsuits.
It is therefore critical for lawyers to use all available technical tools to defend their clients. A forensic psychophysiological exam might be the tool that can help their client prove their innocence and either have the charges dropped or defend their cases during the trial.
Polygraph Turkey can count on international experience acquired by their experts in the use of forensic psychophysiology in legal procedures and help Turkish law firms and lawyers to implement this scientific tool to help prove the innocence of their client.
For more information about forensic psychophysiology please contact Polygraph Turkey.