Over-the-phone lie detection is the latest junk science employed by the FBI and police departments across the country. While experts familiar with the work say it should not be used to convict individuals, it is being used to analyze 911 calls to determine whether the calls are honest or false.
Today, the Karen phenomenon and swatting have police on high alert for false calls. But it isn’t swatting and Karens that are being stopped. Often, it’s people who “say the wrong thing,” according to this method of analyzing speech patterns. And that could be anyone, even the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
What You Need to Understand
You, as a citizen, need to understand that prosecutors know that this “science” is not legitimate, and yet they do anything they can to use it to make arguments against defendants. It makes their job easier, it gives them an air of objectivity, and it allows them to call an expert witness to the stand to convince the jurors that their interpretation of events is correct.
Russ Faria Conviction
Russ Faria was wrongfully convicted of killing his wife based on testimony from a sergeant who said his 911 call sounded staged. Nine out every 10 people listening to the call would hear the panic in his voice and assume it was genuine. A jury convicted him of murdering his wife after testimony convinced the jury that the defendant was lying. The defendant was able to overturn the conviction on the basis that the jury did not receive proper instructions or that the testimony should not have been allowed into the case.
But the prosecutor did not stop after the conviction was vacated. They once again filed first-degree murder charges against the defendant and again tried to get the testimony into evidence. However, a judge stopped the testimony as it was being given are determined that it was not credible. The defendant was acquitted.
Where is This Junk Science Used?
Contractors and self-styled experts are paid thousands of dollars to conduct seminars on how to interpret 911 calls. Every dispatcher then thinks of themselves as a lie detector. However, the places in which this “science” is popular are places that do not have a lot of respect for science. Those that do not have respect for science believe that scientists can earnestly claim whatever they please using their creativity. The “expert” makes money because he’s selling something that the PDs desperately want, but the cost in collateral damage is astonishing.
Meanwhile, it remains difficult to find any information on this “science,” even for lawyers. “Experts” familiar with the program do not want it open to scrutiny. Even as it is dying in courts, there will be a renewed push to use this method.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freidberg represents the interest of Chicago residents who have been accused of serious crimes. Call today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your defense strategy immediately.