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Admissibility of Evidence Derived From Hypnosis and Polygraphy (From Psychological Methods in Criminal Investigation and Evidence, P 333-376, 1989, David C. Raskin, ed. -- See NCJ-120545)

NCJ Number
R A Morris
Date Published
44 pages
This article provides an overview and lists the positions taken by the fifty States, the District of Columbia, the Federal Courts of Appeal, and the US Supreme Court, regarding the admissibility and reliability of hypnosis and polygraphy.
The courts have been reluctant to admit testimony of a previously hypnotized witness because they reason that hypnosis subjects are hypersuggestible and that hypnosis "cements" even erroneous memories into the witness's mind producing hypnotically refreshed testimony. Forty States have determined that the testimony of the hypnotist and subject are inadmissible to prove the truth of an assertion. Delaware mandated a per se rule against the admissibility of hypnotically refreshed memory, and 25 other States have adopted variants of this rule. Six States allow admissibility to be determined by the jury. Massachusetts and New Mexico deem polygraph evidence per se admissible, and 18 other States deem it admissible with binding stipulation. Thirteen States allow polygraph evidence per se as inadmissible. A 1981 decision represents their position that polygraphy has not reached an acceptable level of sophistication. 5 appendixes, 20 references.