Richard A. Muller says that while lie detector tests are not admissible in court due to their error rates...
It is also true that this accuracy figure implies that only 85 percent of truth-tellers will be exonerated; 15 percent will be falsely accused of lying. That is why the National Academy of Sciences’ report came down so hard on the process.
...we rely instead on the ability of jurors to measure the honesty of testimony and the jurors have even higher error rates.
To do this, they were told to take into account “the demeanor” of the witness, his directness in answering questions, and anything else that they thought indicated truthfulness. Ironically, scientific tests show that the average person’s probability of catching a lie in this way is only “slightly better than chance,” according to Ekman. Moreover, the jurors who use this approach have the conviction that their accuracy is near 100 percent, despite their knowledge that most witnesses are extensively coached in methods of appearing sympathetic and truthful—in other words, in methods to defeat the system.
The jury trial system is in great need of technologies that would make it more accurate. Juror tests could be developed that use Statistical Prediction Rules (SPRs) to choose jurors who are more capable of discerning the truth. Additional SPRs could be developed for analysing types of evidence and even of testimony. Our criminal justice system is based on the false conceit that we are excellent judges of character and of other forms of evidence.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2003 August 16 11:47 AM Expert Systems|