An Honest Living

Researchers may have fabricated state-of-the-art polygraph technology, but it can't forge the Truth.

The computer system designed by Raskin doesn't leave room for these types of nuances. The digits it spits out at the end of an examination are flat and emotionless.

"Examiners are still trained to watch a subject's body language," says DA investigator Grant, "but with this instrument, it all comes down to the analysis and opinion of a competent examiner. In order to have a good test, you have to have a well-trained examiner, a good instrument and good questions. Two of those depend on the examiner. I'll be the first to tell you that this instrument isn't a hundred percent, but it's reliable. And looking at that, it's hard to say if this instrument has replaced an investigator's gut instinct or not."

But, Rode says, his ultimate determination "is made by the charts produced by the instrument. There have been times when I thought someone was overwhelmingly guilty but they tested truthfully. Had I relied upon my gut instinct, I would have done a disservice to that individual."

And the removal of instinct is what makes the computerized polygraph attractive to Gene Parker.

"This instrument takes the human element out of the polygraph," says Parker. "If the questions are formulated properly, it is absolute as to the truth. This instrument represents the civilized world's last attempt to tell the difference between truth and deception.

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