The Answer Is No, It Is Not Admissible
Video Transcribed: Are lie detectors allowed in Oklahoma courts? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and that’s the question we have today. Polygraph tests, lie detector tests, are they admissible as evidence in courts in Oklahoma? And that’s really simple and the answer is no, it is not admissible.
They cannot be brought forward. If you’ve got some sort of machine or technology that says whether somebody is lying or telling the truth, that is taking away the job from the judge or the jury to determine who is telling the truth. And how is the jury supposed to evaluate the results of the polygraph and determine whether they’re reliable and accurate?
There’s not really much of a way to do that. And there’s no… The proof of the reliability of these things varies and is problematic. They’re not 100% reliable. They don’t work in all circumstances.
Some people have the ability to beat them or can learn to beat them. So it undermines the integrity of the fact-finding process because all you can do there if you’re presenting it in court is you would say, “Well, that’s said they lied.”
Well, how do we determine whether they’re one of the percentages that are accurate or the percentage that’s not accurate? There’s no way to determine the reliability of any particular one. It takes that decision-making away from the judge and the jury, and therefore they are never admissible in a court of law in the state of Oklahoma.
That said, they are still utilized in some places in the legal system in Oklahoma. So some investigators, law enforcement agencies do allow polygraph testing. And typically, they do it in cases where there are factual issues, he said, she said, and they do that in order to allow a defendant perhaps to come forward and show that there’s evidence that they’re telling the truth. And that may make a determination on whether they recommend prosecution to a prosecutor.
That’s obviously a very risky thing to do, but I have in my cases that I’ve dealt with had that offer from law enforcement where they say, “Well, go get a polygraph test. Bring that back to us.” And that could make a determination on whether they decide to prosecute or not.
So they are utilized in that respect, sometimes the defendant and their attorney are the ones bringing it up. We see this most in child abuse cases, child molestation cases with a very serious offense. He said, she said, difficult to determine, and it can help the prosecutor or the investigators decide whether they’re going to close out a case or move it forward for prosecution.
If you’ve got questions about how those things may apply to your specific circumstances, have further questions about the admissibility of evidence in courts in Oklahoma, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney privately about that. You can schedule that by going to makelaweasy.com.