You will prepare and submit a term paper on Polygraph: Its Admissibility in Court. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length. The standard of polygraph was first addressed in US courts in 1923 (Frye v. the United States, 54, App DC 46,293F 1013) when the court refused to admit polygraph evidence in a murder case. The legal standard set by the court ruling popularly known as the Frye rule lasted for 70 years. The evidence to be admissible in court must have gained general acceptance in its scientific world.
Later in 1970 adoption of the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702 set another standard for the scientific evidence to be admitted in courts if such specialized and technical knowledge could assist the court to understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue. .. The court changed the old law of admissibility based on scientific expert evidence and stated that the Frye test was not consistent with the Federal Rules of Evidence in the case of Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals 148. The court altered the manner in which they evaluated the subject of ‘admissibility’ of scientific evidence that includes the use of polygraph evidence as well This opened the door for a polygraph to be admitted in the court proceedings as per the discretion of the court. Five factors were recommended for courts to be followed to weigh the evidence before admitting it in the trial process: 1. whether the theory or technique is testable or falsifiable 2. whether the method has been subjected to peer review, 3.whether the rate of error is too high. 4.the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique’s operation and 5.whether the method has received ‘general acceptance.
In course of application of the new guidelines by the court the polygraph results a). have been admitted on some occasions, b).have been considered inadmissible in some other occasions, and c). in many other cases have been admitted under certain specific conditions only. Apart from the standard set by the Supreme Court in the Daubert case, Federal Rule of Evidence 403 also is considered to be ‘standard’ that is to be cleared to prove evidence to be scientific. Following the adoption of the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Supreme Court’s decision the standard for admissibility of polygraph evidence in criminal cases changed. Those accepted and turned to polygraphs had to change their opinions.