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Will new lie detectors return to the courts?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Technology is an increasingly important part of our lives. In the era of smartphones, toasters with microchips and computers in every workspace, it is unavoidable, even in law enforcement. While Colorado has a ban on polygraph tests because they were deemed unreliable, the next iteration may be EyeDetect, which uses a digital camera to measure pupil dilation, eye movements and dozens of other factors to determine if someone is lying. It gathers about half-million data points in a 15-minute session. Many assume that the prosecution would want to use this technology, but it can also benefit the defendant.

The new polygraphs?

While some believe that the tests helped create a fuller picture, polygraphs (which measure heart rate, breathing rate and sweat) fell out of favor and were banned in many states after it was determined that they were only 83% accurate when done correctly and lower if done incorrectly. EyeDetect is considered 90% accurate and provides fewer inconclusive tests. While some see its regular use as a longshot, it was admissible in New Mexico for a 2018 case involving the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl — the case was eventually declared a mistrial thanks in part to the EyeDetect test. Another defendant who was accused earlier this year of killing two and throwing the bodies down a mine shaft in Utah sought to use the test for his defense.

These are simply tools

Machines will likely never have the final word on innocence or guilt. Nevertheless, these tools could help build a case if the accused is willing to undergo EyeDirect, and courts will allow it as part of the evidence. Regardless of whether the technology and tests are admissible evidence, it is still essential to rely upon the work of a criminal law attorney. They are the ones who have the skills to provide valid arguments to the judge and jury.