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The unreliability of lie detection methods

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Expungement

When a person is facing Ohio criminal charges, one of the biggest challenges is being accused of lying. While body language, tone and behavior are viewed as signs as to whether someone is truthful or not, there are debates as to the value of lie detection techniques.

Accusations of lying can impact a criminal case

Lying is a key part of childhood development. However, it is viewed as negative, particularly in criminal cases. Looking at a person’s movements and expressions is a frequent strategy used by law enforcement to gauge a person’s honesty. This does not always give a legitimate appraisal of truthfulness. In addition, the use of lie detectors – also known as polygraphs – adds neurophysiology to make these determinations. Studies suggest this is not always reliable either.

People respond differently based on the situation. Fundamental beliefs about reading a person’s movements or placing emphasis on the polygraph results can yield a mistaken impression. Newer strategies are being used. If a person gives detail based on experience, it tends to be of greater quality and is more indicative of honesty than statements lacking that detail. Essentially, those who are lying maintain a simpler narrative due to the mental stress associated with it.

Technological advancements are being taken more seriously when it comes to trying to detect lies. An example is artificial intelligence. Using AI, people’s speech patterns, tone and various clues are being used to differentiate lies from the truth. Still, despite its widespread use and attempts to improve the analysis, questioning subjective judgments regarding lying can be vital in a criminal defense strategy.

Lie detection strategies do not prove guilt

If a person is accused of lying based on interpretations made by law enforcement or prosecutors, it is imperative to know how to counteract the claims. Simply saying someone is lying based on how they speak or behave is not necessarily accurate. If it is linked to the charges, knowing what can be done to reduce its relevance can help with crafting an effective defense.