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Sunday, September 08, 2013
Courts - "Indiana Man Gets 8 Months for Lie Detector Fraud"
ABC News has this AP story by Matthew Barakat that begins:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. An Indiana man who taught federal job applicants and others how to beat lie-detector tests was sentenced to eight months in prison Friday in a case that raised questions about the right to teach people how to lie.Later in the story:
Chad Dixon, 34, of Marion, Ind., pleaded guilty in December to wire fraud and obstructing a government proceeding with his business, Polygraph Consultants of America.
Federal prosecutors said Dixon taught dozens of people, including applicants to be federal border guards, and he was good at his trade.
In arguing for probation, Dixon's lawyer, Nina Ginsberg, said teaching people how to lie on a polygraph was protected by the First Amendment. She said Dixon's only crime was explicitly advising prospective federal employees they should lie about having received his training.
"It may be unfortunate for federal law enforcement ... but it is protected speech to tell people how to lie on a polygraph," Ginsberg said.
Ginsberg said the case appeared to be the first of its kind in the country, and said it should be considered in the context of long-held doubts that many experts have about the reliability of lie detectors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Phillips said teaching someone to beat a lie detector, when the instructor knows that his student wants to foil a federally administered exam, is a federal crime.
"He adopted their illegitimate ends as his own," Phillips told the judge.
Ginsberg said Dixon has received a lot of unsolicited advice from lawyers across the country since entering his guilty plea that he has committed no crime and should fight the charges. Ginsberg pointed out in court papers that dozens of people who provide similar services have not yet been charged.
The sentence was less than the 21 months sought by prosecutors. District Judge Liam O'Grady acknowledged that "the gray areas regarding the First Amendment right to teach these countermeasures are real."
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 8, 2013 01:10 PM
Posted to Courts in general