In February, I posted an article here about how the polygraph is often used to induce false confessions. One of the most outrageous examples of that was the case of Jeffrey Deskovic. Deskovic spent almost 16 years in prison before he was released in 2006 after testing matched DNA found on the victim identified the real killer, who pleaded guilty to the crime in 2007.
As reported here, Deskovic has already donated about $1.5 million from the money he was awarded in two court cases he filed after his release to start the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice to promote awareness of wrongful convictions and related issues.
Now Deskovic is focusing attention on the misuse of polygraphs in criminal investigations, starting with his own case. As reported here, a federal judge has refused to dismiss Deskovic’s claim that the investigator who administered the lie-detector test that prompted his false confession violated his rights.
According to Deskovic, the investigator told him that he had failed the polygraph test and then said, “You just told me within yourself, through the polygraph results, that you committed (the murder). All we want you to do is verbalize it.” After more intimidation and manipulation, Deskovic acceded to the investigator’s request.
Sadly, investigators still use the polygraphs in this fashion to get confessions. I am currently investigating a case in which a high-school dropout with a low IQ confessed to a crime after being told the polygraph proved he was guilty. No matter how many false confessions involving the polygraph are exposed, police continue to use it as a tool to obtain confessions from young or easily manipulated individuals.