100% No Deception!
If you’ve been reading my blog, particularly Convicting Drew – Parts 1-5, you are aware that the judge convicted my son. He based his decision primarily upon credibility. He believed that Drew was deceitful.
After a couple of grueling weeks in Riverside Regional Jail the judge was willing to hear a motion for a freedom bond. This would allow Drew to come home to await his appeal. A sliver of hope to hug my son instead of visiting through a thick glass window, feed him good meals and get him back on his correct medications.
Naively my son had pleaded with the guards to arrange for him to take a polygraph while in jail, and prove his innocence. He wasn’t a criminal and didn’t belong in there. He wanted to be home with his family and his dog. Throughout his life Drew has always chosen the familiarity of home over anywhere else. At age five his vote was to pass on the ice cream shop to go home. At age twenty-five he preferred home to most any trip, anywhere.
The judge granted Drew a freedom bond. Part of his bond agreement included weekly probation. At the probation office they told us Drew would be required to take a polygraph test.
He was understandably nervous even though he welcomed the chance to prove he was telling the truth. Drew had come to associate any legal building; the courthouse, the probation office, etc. as a negative, fearful experience. Drew reported that the man administering the polygraph was polite, calm, professional, patient and explained it well. He prepared Drew for what to expect, which helped him to calm down.
After asking a number of questions, while Drew was hooked up to the high tech equipment the man told him they were finished. The man also told him that he had answered every question 100% with no deception. He passed his polygraph. One of the questions asked was, if he had ever forced himself on anyone sexually. His answer was no.
When my husband and Drew came home he was elated. “I passed my polygraph!”, he announced as he walked through the door. He asked me what I thought would happen next. “Will the judge see it? When he sees that I’m telling the truth will he change his verdict?” All kinds of heartbreaking, innocent questions that technically made perfect sense. Indeed…the judge should know that he passed the polygraph. I hoped he would add this to the growing list of doubt and change his verdict.
I asked the probation office for a copy of the polygraph results, and if the judge was going to receive the results. They explained to me that the polygraph was given to determine his likelihood of reoffending, and what treatment is needed. WHAT?!? Had I seriously entered the Twilight Zone and no one told me? So, the man who administered the polygraph told Drew that he passed 100% with no deception…and this office knows he passed…but this testing was only to help determine how much treatment he needs? Again…screaming WHAT?!? inside my head. I was told that since the judge found him guilty they have to assume he is guilty.
I was left with a disparity of conclusions: A. The polygraph is trusted enough to determine treatment but B. The polygraph is not trusted enough to raise reasonable doubt after the judge’s decision. Imagine going through this experience, and trying to explain it to your Aspie son.
My husband and I began researching polygraph tests. Today’s polygraphs are more sophisticated, more difficult to beat when lying, and are given for a number of reasons. Depending on the study they seem to identify about 85% of guilty individuals. Interestingly, the military and prosecutors sometimes request it when a woman makes a report of a sexual assault. A large number of women do not want to continue with their claim when a polygraph is required of them. And, a large number of them fail the polygraph. Want to guess what happens when the women fail the polygraph? The case typically ENDS right then.
And that is exactly what should be happening for Drew. This should END with him being fully acquitted. But, the insanity continues.