by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger
This is an update to a story originally posted here by Charlton Stanley, “Polygraphers trigger fear response in Federal prosecutors.”
Chad Dixon, a 34 year old Marion, Indiana little league coach who ran the “PolygraphExpert.net” website teaching people how to defeat polygraph tests, was sentenced to eight months in jail for threatening national security by teaching government job applicants how to beat lie-detector tests. Teaching such techniques and discussing them is not per se illegal. It is an admitted gray area in 1st Amendment jurisprudence. However, U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady found the evidence compelling enough that Dixon had crossed the line when he advised some clients, including two undercover officers, to conceal what he taught them while undergoing government polygraphs. This is in addition to the charges of obstruction and wire fraud Dixon plead guilty to last year.
Nina Ginsberg, Dixon’s attorney, accused prosecutors of trying to turn her client into a “poster child for its newly undertaken campaign” to stop people from using the polygraph disruption techniques. the prosecution had sought a two year sentence, but Judge O’Grady thought that eight months was sufficient. O’Grady said, “There’s nothing unlawful about maybe 95 percent of the business he conducted,” although he added that “a sentence of incarceration is absolutely necessary to deter others.”
As Charlton Stanley’s original column indicated, lie detectors are anything but a lie detector. “[L]ie detector technology has no known statistical properties with regard to detecting deception of any kind. It has not been accepted as science in the scientific community. The only thing scientists seem to agree on is most of these machines measure stress reactions in humans, and to that extent, they can measure stress in people who feel stress—that’s it.”
Deterrent based on legitimate concerns or chilling of free speech in the name of protecting a test of dubious value?
What do you think?
Source: Seattle Times
~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger