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Polygraph Tests:
United States v. Scheffer

Appealed From: U.S. Military Court of Appeals
Subjects: Rules of Evidence; Military Procedure; Admissibility of Polygraphs

Argued: Nov. 3, 1997

Decided: March 31, 1998
Vote: 8-1
At Issue: Whether a military rule of evidence that bars polygraph tests in court-martial proceedings unconstitutionally hampers the respondent's right to defend himself against charges.

Decision: The justices ruled 8-1 to uphold the rule barring the use of polygraph test results in military courts. In the decision, the justices in the majority said that lie-detector tests are not reliable evidence.

Read the full text of the United States v. Scheffer decision at the Findlaw Internet Legal Resources Web site.

Listen to the United States v. Scheffer oral argument in RealAudio at the Oyez Oyez Oyez Web site.

Background From The Post
Justices Allow Ban On Polygraph Use (April 1, 1998)
Justices Voice Concerns About Polygraphs (Nov. 4, 1997)
High Court to Rule on Trial Viability of Lie Detector Test Evidence (Nov. 2, 1997)
High Court to Rule on Defendant's Right to Present Polygraph Results as Evidence (May 20, 1997)

Sources: The Washington Post, Supreme Court, The United States Law Week (a Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. publication)

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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