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Jones “Fails” Lie Detector?

Jim Burroway

November 3rd, 2006

Breaking news reports indicate that Michael Jones, Ted Haggard’s accuser, failed a polygraph test early this morning. I have no doubt that many of Haggard’s supporters will rush accuse Jones of lying. But the test administrator doubted that the test was accurate:

The test administrator, John Kresnik, said Jones’ score indicated “deceptions” in his answers. However, Kresnik said he doubted the accuracy of the test he administered because of the recent stress on Jones and his inability to eat or sleep, according to KHOW producer Greg Hollenback.

Kresnik suggested that Jones be re-tested early next week after he was rested.

Other reports indicate that Jones was also suffering from a migrane and hadn’t had much sleep. All of these can throw a polygraph off.

Polygraphs are notorious unreliable as “lie detector” tests. They can be too easily manipulated, or the results can be thrown off by stress and illness, as appears to be the case here. That’s why they are not admissible in court when they purport to show someone is lying. There a reason for that. They cannot detect a lie. Nor are they much good at detecting the truth.

See Also:

Ted Haggard: “I’m Not Gay”
The Megachurch, Mike Jones, and the Suspension of Disbelief
“There Is A Part Of My Life So Repulsive and Dark…”
Blessed Are The Opportunists
Haggard Resigns; “I Know What You Did Last Night”
Prayers and Assistance for the Haggard Family
I Did Not Have Sex With That Man!
Jones “Fails” Lie Detector?
Fall of the House of Haggard

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