January 1, 2008
Pa court makes sure state sex offenders make resolution not to lie
As detailed in this AP story, a "Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Monday that forcing a convicted sex offender to take annual lie detector tests does not violate constitutional protections against self-incrimination." The ruling came in Commonwealth v. Shrawder, No. 1894 MDA 2006 (Pa. Super. App. Dec. 31, 2007) (available here), and here is a snippet:
Upon considering the caselaw cited above and the testimony presented at the October 11, 2006, hearing, we find the therapeutic polygraph is an essential tool for a therapist whose job it is to reveal an offender’s deception and encourage him or her to confront his or her urges and deviant behavior. The test results further the primary goal of counseling as part of a sexual offender’s sentence, which is to rehabilitate the offender and prevent recidivism, with reasonably small incremental deprivations of the offender’s liberty. We also note that, as Mr. Kobierecki’s testimony indicates, the candor of Appellant or any other probationer is always expected during a probation inquiry, whether or not his responses are being recorded through a polygraph test. We therefore conclude that polygraph testing can, and in this case does, further sentencing goals without excessive deprivations of liberty and hold that a therapeutic polygraph is a proper element in a sex offender treatment program for a convicted sexual offender and does not violate a probationer’s rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Article One, Section Nine of the Pennsylvania Constitution, so long as the inquiries made pursuant to it relate to the underlying offense for which an offender has been sentenced and do not compel him or her to provide information that could be used against him or her in a subsequent criminal trial.
January 1, 2008 at 03:53 PM | Permalink
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» Polygraphs and Parole from Objective - Justice
Just as there is no right to a jury trial before probation may be revoked, neither is the privilege against compelled self-incrimination available to a probationer. Murphy, 465 U.S. at 436. [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 2, 2008 4:48:54 PM
so it not okay for sex offender to lie but it okay for police to lie
i am a registered sex offender
also check out
support group for sex offender
Posted by: nk | Jan 1, 2008 6:07:34 PM
I'm not sure the article mentions anything about the police lying, and if a sex offender in probation or parole has to lie, then that's a bigger consern.
I don't agree with the obvious unconstitutional laws created against sex offenders, but I don't think this case is any different than if a probation officer investigates if a person under his supervision is lying or not.
The constitutional question in this case is, would they apply it to those that are no longer under state supervision? or if its used to file charges against him. I don't think that is mentioned either.
By the way, thanks for the link, i'll check it out.
Posted by: EJ | Jan 2, 2008 2:18:33 AM
"therapeutic polygraph" Interesting use of words. What about the fact that polygraphs are unreliable? How therapeutic is that?
Posted by: Steve | Jan 2, 2008 8:40:01 AM
The last sentence of the opinion clearly means that if a probationer confesses to new crimes then the statements can not be used against him in a new prosecution and could only be used to violate his probation.
But lets suppose he fesses up to having child porn on his computer and the feds go get a warrant and then charge him with possession of child porn images. Odds are that a federal court would not suppress the evidence. And, in sentencing this person for this new offense would use these statements to enhance a federal sentence.
Strict construction of the Fifth Amendment must result in the opposite holding in this case. The Fifth Amendment clause: "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." Here the person is compelled (he gets revoked and goes to jail for not being a witness); he is in a criminal case; he is compelled to be a witness against himself. I suppose that you can dress up some "tool" and call it "therapeutic" and thus trump the Constitution.
Posted by: | Jan 3, 2008 6:19:24 AM
I am a citizen who is interested to know if a person is a convicted, paroled in 1995, & registered child sex offender, are they allowed to have any contact with children? I have not been able to find any information regarding this issue.
What should I do if I have seen this registered sex offender take a young boy (approx. 13-15 yrs. old) into their dwelling unsupervised, over night?
This has really been eating at me since I witnessed this event.
Please respond as soon as possible.
Posted by: my5sns | Oct 8, 2008 4:45:53 PM
I dont understand is it possible for a sex offender to get 30years in prison if he violates his parole/probation coming in contact with his own sister/niece which are minors and as a family what can we do to prevent that?
Posted by: avi | Jan 22, 2009 12:22:13 AM