PART D: THE POLYGRAPH
Scientific aids are available to you for use in interviews and interrogations.
These aids include the polygraph instrument.
This records physiological changes
that may indicate deception in the subject being tested.
It is used to develop
information, to determine whether a person has knowledge of an offense, and to
obtain an admission or confession of guilt. Its value lies not only in the results
but also in the psychological effects that may be induced by requesting persons
suspected of lying to submit to these tests.
a. The Polygraph Examination.
A polygraph test is conducted by a qualified
examiner trained in the use of this instrument.
Operators are assigned to each
Requests for their services should be submitted through proper
channels. You have no authority to compel any person to submit to an examination
or to assume that any person is guilty because he refuses to take it.
instrument is an aid that may be used in a complete and thorough investigation; it
is not a substitute for such an investigation.
b. Admissibility of Polygraph Examination Results. Before the examination is
given, a statement of consent must be signed by the subject (for the contents of
this statement, see AR 195-6). The terms of this statement must be understood and
adhered to by both you and the examiner.
The statement serves as a permanent
record to prove that the subject was apprised of his legal rights and volunteered
to take the test.
Polygraph charts are not admissible as evidence in a court-
martial, but the operator may be permitted to testify in order to establish the
admissibility of a confession or an admission that was secured as a result of the
examination. His testimony, when admissible, is in the nature of expert testimony
and is subject to cross-examination by the defense. A confession or an admission
that was obtained through the use of the instrument is competent and admissible,
provided, of course, that all other legal requirements have been fulfilled.