LIMITS OF USING THE RESULTS OF POLYGRAPH TESTING IN CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

Author Name(s): Sergey F. Shumilin, Elena A. Kupryashina, *Ekaterina A. Novikova, Vasily J. Potapov, Andrey V. Stepanyuk
Author Email: novikova_a@bsu.edu.ru

Abstract

An offer for restrictions, concerning the limits of use of polygraph testing results as orientation information at pre-trial stages of criminal proceedings, was made in this article. Given proposal was based on the study of judicial practice in criminal cases, literature and experience in establishing the criteria of evidence use in the US legislation, received on the background of scientific data.

Keywords

Criminal Procedure, Polygraph Testing, Legislative Regulation, Problems of Results Reliability, Limits of Use.

Introduction

Polygraph testing in the criminal procedure, as shown by the study of literature and investigative practice, is conducted mainly to verify the testimony of suspects, victims and witnesses of crimes, if there is any doubt about the reliability or completeness of the information, reported by them. In this case, polygraph testing of crime suspects often ends with their admission of offence. At the same time, there are many examples of recognition the false positive conclusions of polygraph operators – truthful answers of tested person are recognized as false – as evidences, and based on them criminal prosecution of the innocents. Such situations are described in the scientific literature, and sometimes they are the subject of discussion in the media. Taking into account, that polygraph testing can create the prerequisites for violation of the right to personal integrity and the grounds for criminal prosecution of the innocents, the question of establishing the limits of use of polygraph testing results in the criminal procedure is of immediate interest.

Conclusion

The study of experience of the United States in legislative regulation of evidence use, obtained on the basis of scientific data, allows to suggest that the question about the evidentiary value of polygraph test results has found its unique solution only in military courts, and it consists in the restriction of use of these results as judicial evidence. Taking into account, that neither the doctrine of polygraph testing, nor the legal precedents create neutralization mechanism for the factors, which cast doubt on the accuracy of the polygraph test results, the optimum solution is to set limits on their use, only in the framework of pre-trial proceedings, and only as reference information, required for the nomination of investigative leads, and planning of investigative and other procedural actions, aimed at verifying the testimonies of participants in criminal proceedings, in case of doubts about their completeness and reliability

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