Saturday, January 31, 2004

8th Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Polygraph Evidence

The Eighth Circuit has affirmed the trial court's exclusion of polygraph evidence, offered by a criminal defendant who wanted to introduce the results of lie detector tests taken by witnesses at the scene of the murder. The panel had no occasion to evaluate the reliability of the polygraph evidence, because the defendant never undertook his burden to establish its reliability or admissibility. See United States v. Greatwalker, No. 02-4082 (8th Cir. Jan. 30, 2004) (M.S. Arnold, Heaney, & Fagg, JJ.).
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.