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January 8, 2015

Is California prepared to revoke parole for any sex offender with an iffy lie-detector test?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this new AP story with the headline "California making sex offenders take lie-detector tests." Here are the basics:

For the first time, California is making paroled sex offenders take periodic lie-detector tests in response to several high-profile cases involving parolees who raped and killed.

State officials said this week that the stepped-up effort to prevent new sex crimes will help them better gauge which offenders are most dangerous and in need of increased supervision. All sex offender parolees also are required to participate in specially-designed treatment programs. Previously, only high-risk offenders had to undergo treatment.

California is not the first state to adopt the new policies. But with more than 6,000 sex offenders on parole, officials say it is by far the largest.

I have never closely followed the debates of the reliability of lie detector tests, but it appears that California has decided that they are reliable enough to become a mandatory part of parole requirements for sex offenders.   That said, I wonder if these lie-detector test will be considered reliable enough (by parole officials? by courts?) to alone provide a sufficient basis for revoking a sex offender's parole if he sometimes fails to "pass the test with flying colors"?

January 8, 2015 at 05:07 PM | Permalink


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Of course, the cost of these lie detector tests will have to be borne by the registrant, if I’m not mistaken. I’m surprised that the CA Sex Offender Management Board is going along with this nonsense. I’m sure that there was some heated discussion with this one.

Highlighted BS statement:

“It’s a tool that perhaps sets the stage for the first time in an offender’s life where he’s literally practicing being honest,” added Eckenrod.

Really. This is adorable. That bit of insanity should stand by itself.

One final note:

“Harriet Salarno, founder and chairwoman of Crime Victims United of California, welcomed the department’s latest effort because she said GPS tracking was oversold as a way of preventing new crimes. But she predicted sex offenders will find a way to fool the lie detectors.”

Really, Harriet? Did you REALLY say that? So if the lie detector is not successful, it MUST be the registrant who is messing with the system!!! Just like registrants who have to move often, it's NOT because they are being chased out by the neighborhood once he's on the registry, but it MUST be because he's looking to make it easier to reoffend!! {{{{{Sigh}}}}}

Seriously, there is some bulls*** being bandied about in the water here in the state.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Jan 8, 2015 9:32:09 PM

Add this to the Annals of Lawyer Dumbass Idiocy. This one is stunning in its idiocy, and dangerous to public safety.

Does anyone remember a prior comment indicating that antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)is one of the most validated of conditions, and is the most common condition in prison? Does anyone remember that it even has a physical test differentiating it from normal? The cold pressor test.

If one dips the arm of a normal person into a bucket of ice and water, the pain of the cold will elevate the pulse and blood pressure of the subject. People with ASPD have a significantly lower increase in these measures. That means the lie detector test has no validity in the presence of ASPD, the most dangerous of the predators. And the most callous/unemotional predators will pass the most easily. "Sex is just flat and boring unless I slit my sex partner's throat and watch the look of terror on her face, hilarious."

If one is normal, defeat this idiocy by taking propranolol 10 mg, a blood pressure and rapid pulse blocker, not tested for in urine illegal drug use. It is legal, costs 10 cents, and would be prescribed by your family doctor for performance anxiety (such as flying, or giving a public speech). Take one or two, and repeat the cold pressor test to see if it blocked the untreated increase in pulse and blood pressure.

Can't get to your doctor? Have a couple of gin and tonics 2 hours before.

This test will pass the most dangerous predators, and capture the milquetoast that are nervous and harmless.

Over and over, from one idiocy to another. Stunning and frustrating that policy is in the hands of such defectives.

I have a test for the lawyer dumbass. The IQ test. Before law school, 150, after law school, 75.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 8, 2015 10:42:34 PM

seeing as even the FBI admits the so-called "lie detector" does nothing but scare people into confessing. It's junk science at it's finest.

as for this use here. My first question would be is it being ordered for all on probation or just sex offenders? Sounds illegal targeting to me. If it's that fucking good at stopping criminals why not use it on all of them.

Also if ordered just for sex criminals. Is it being ordered for all of them on probation or just new ones. If old ones it better have come with a court order. Other wise might be time for a major class action law suit for illegal alteration of a court order.

Plus I would sure as hell NEVER pay for it. The fuckups in the state and the state government want it. THEY can pay for it.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 9, 2015 2:08:45 AM

I guess the CA parole system figures they have to make it appear that they're being proactive -- data and science be damned -- in the wake of the killings.

So long as they don't revoke based solely on flunking a polygraph it doesn't seem that controversial to me -- polygraphy as a condition of release is fairly standard, isn't it?

Posted by: Guy | Jan 9, 2015 9:17:28 AM


"polygraphy as a condition of release is fairly standard, isn't it?"

Witchcraft along with several other parole conditions violate the very essence of what it should mean to be an American with inalienable "rights". One of those rights should be to be free from the idiotic whims of legislators, lawyers, LE, service providers and other "rent seekers" who have a vested interest in milking and needlessly scaring the public for all they are worth.

Ever since that stupid passage of Megan's Law in 1996 (championed by a Florida Congressman and signed into Law by a President who should both be listed), and upheld by nine baboons in black pajamas in Smith vs. Doe, we have become ever more stupid in our laws and as a nation. Duh! The Adam Walsh POS Act was further insult to injury and probably passed unconstitutionaly.

Punishment and parole conditions should be tailored to individuals as determined by a Court of Law, not the whim of some demagogues. The vast majority of SO's are being scapegoated as a deliberate public lie.

Posted by: albeed | Jan 9, 2015 9:36:44 AM

First of all, what happends if the former sex offender is unable or unwilling to pick up the tab for these dubious tests?

Second, what happens if large numbers of sex offenders decide to resist this law by any means necessary? By resisting officers´attempts to bring them to the lie dector room, etc.?

Frankly, I am surprised why large numbers of sex offenders are not raising hell or taking a page from those who are resisting racisit police brutality.

This law could have the potential of putting law enforcement at extra needless risk for their own security by provoking embittered former sex offenders into lashing out without insuring any law abiding person´s saftey!

Posted by: william delzell | Jan 9, 2015 11:08:58 AM

One more thing: Who is this Harriet Salerno? Is she some right winged Stalinist totalitarian who wants to replace rule of law with dictatorship?

Posted by: william delzell | Jan 9, 2015 11:10:52 AM

They've been doing this in Virginia for a long time and no one complains.

Posted by: John doe | Jan 9, 2015 8:16:30 PM

Petty laws, instead of making law-abiding people safer, serve only to provoke those whom the law is meant to control into lashing out at the law and its creators/enforcers. Jab a dog in a corner for too long and that dog will bight back.

This new lie detector policy, especially with its policy of forcing an indigent offender to pick up the tab will simply cause that offender to become resentful toward authority with enough anger to lash out.

Posted by: william r. delzell | Jan 10, 2015 2:10:21 PM

John doe: (or Duh)

"They've been doing this in Virginia for a long time and no one complains."

That makes a lot of sense, I mean, doesn't everybody want to be like Virginia?

Who is the "no one" who does not complain, the parolee, probationer, parole officer, LE or any other member of the "Just Us" system? I can hardly wait to be judged by Voodoo, how about you?

Does the parolee/probationer go directly to jail without passing go based solely on the word of the examiner and parole/probation officer, or does a judge need to be convinced of the violation?

Posted by: albeed | Jan 11, 2015 4:30:55 PM

No one complains in Oklahoma, either, John doe.

Because if you refuse the semi-annual polygraph, your parole/suspended sentence is revoked and off to prison you go......

Posted by: Oswaldo | Jan 14, 2015 6:17:44 PM

What concerns me is that sex offenders are less likely to re-offend yet because of the scare of the public are targeted by law enforcement after they have paid for their crime in much harsher ways. Having them do lie detectors which are not allowable in court normally yet using them to hold them accountable when they are already scared and knowing they can be manipulated is just unfair. If you are going to make sex offender take lie detectors make all repeat offenders take them, drug dealer, gang members how have shot people etc. Everyone is up for grabs. Hey lets police the whole country, catch everyone. This world is out of control, we have no liberties.

Posted by: Mary Paul | Jan 19, 2015 8:45:32 PM

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