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Polygraphs

SCIENCE
October 9, 2002 | CHARLES PILLER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Polygraph testing for national security screening is little more than junk science, with results so inaccurate that they tend to be counterproductive, according to a long-awaited report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences. The nation's premier scientific organization said such tests, a key counterespionage tool for 50 years, promote false confidence that spies and other national security threats have been ferreted out.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 1998 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A federal judge has ruled that the results of polygraph tests are still not reliable enough to be admitted as evidence in courts of law. "Polygraphy has not achieved general acceptance in the scientific community for courtroom use," said U.S. District Judge Gary L. Taylor. In ruling against the admissibility of polygraphs, more commonly known as lie detectors, Taylor denied a motion for a new trial filed by a 50-year-old Miami man sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for cocaine possession.
NEWS
November 10, 2000 | MATT LAIT and HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The onetime lover of ex-Los Angeles Police Officer Rafael Perez on Thursday recanted her allegations that Perez and another former LAPD officer killed three people and buried their bodies in Tijuana, according to her attorney and law enforcement sources. After taking a polygraph examination, 23-year-old Sonia Flores broke down in tears and admitted to federal authorities that she fabricated her claims, law enforcement sources said.
NEWS
November 14, 1989 | PHILIP HAGER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A state Court of Appeal ruled Monday that cities and counties may require applicants for jobs as police officers to submit to polygraph tests about their character and background. In a 2-1 decision, the panel rejected claims that such testing violated the state constitutional right to privacy or conflicted with statutes that bar such tests for public safety officers already on the job.
NEWS
May 21, 1992 | RONALD J. OSTROW and DOYLE McMANUS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, in an unusual move, Wednesday released results of a polygraph test he passed in which he denied taking part in a cover-up to protect former President Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra scandal.
NEWS
May 4, 1994 | ROBERT L. JACKSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Wired to a polygraph, South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park was undaunted by charges that he had sought to bribe dozens of congressmen during the so-called Koreagate scandal in the 1970s. Defense lawyer William G. Hundley, sitting alongside Park at his questioning by an FBI polygrapher, marveled at his client's ability to shield lawmakers he considered friends. "The needle never moved," said Hundley, recalling how Park denied payment after payment without the polygraph registering any deception.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2005 | David Rosenzweig, Times Staff Writer
Former public relations executive Douglas R. Dowie will not be allowed to introduce the results of a privately administered polygraph test at his upcoming trial on charges of padding bills to the Department of Water and Power, a federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess said that if Dowie "wants to present his side ... he is free to do so by taking the stand and testifying at trial, at which time he will be subject like all other witnesses to cross-examination."
NEWS
May 16, 1992 | RONALD J. OSTROW and DOYLE MCMANUS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Donald P. Gregg, a top aide to George Bush when he was vice president, failed a 1990 FBI polygraph test on his knowledge of the Iran-Contra scandal--evidence that, while not admissible in court, has nevertheless encouraged prosecutors to continue their investigation of his role, sources say. Gregg, now U.S. ambassador to South Korea, has testified repeatedly that he did not know about the efforts of White House aide Oliver L. North to supply weapons to Nicaraguan rebels in 1985 and 1986, when U.
NEWS
July 13, 1997 | DAVAN MAHARAJ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The CIA has been known to catch spies by strapping them to polygraph machines. The FBI routinely nabs crooks--and clears innocent people--in the same fashion. And if California courts allowed it, jurors in O.J. Simpson's criminal trial would have heard that the Hall of Famer failed a polygraph examination after his arrest in the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2000 | EDGAR SANDOVAL
A state Senate committee approved a bill last week that would bar nearly all employers from suggesting applicants take a lie detector test as a condition of employment, officials said. The bill, written by Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sylmar), also would require employers that administer polygraphs, including police departments, to videotape the sessions and make them available to the applicants, Alarcon said.
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