Questions and doubt swirl around this judge’s ruling.
Experts are surprised and skeptical of a Colorado judge’s ruling that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes could be subjected to a “truth serum” if he decides to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
The term used by Judge William Sylvester earlier this week in his court ruling was that a “narcoanalytic interview” could be employed to determine if Holmes is genuinely insane.
Sylvester’s court order does not specify what drugs could be used on Holmes, but it would likely be a drug like sodium amytal or sodium pentothal.
Here was another piece from New Scientist with various opinions on the ruling.
‘Truth serum’ to be used in Dark Knight shooter trial – life – 13 March 2013 – New Scientist.
MANY issues come up from just reading this story. First, the judge didn’t specify but “truth serum” was assumed (perhaps a fair assumption, I’m not sure) and all the news headlines reflect that. The use of drugs would be to establishing the defendant’s state of mind, not provide evidence in the case. But there is serious questions about that. Does it actually give you results? Are they reliable? Is this ethical? Is it Constitutional? The ruling has caused a stir for all these reasons. It’s important to look carefully at how the results, whatever they are, will be interpreted and perceived. Is this worth it if they will be no good? What are the consequences?
Other articles mention things like lost or repressed memory. Bogus. There is mention of a polygraph test to be used. Bogus.
“It’s an extraordinarily unusual procedure to use,” Dr. Steven Hoge, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University in New York, told ABCNews.com. “The fact that they’ve linked it to the use of polygraph makes me concerned that they do believe that it is indeed a ‘truth serum’ and there’s no evidence to support that.”
What the heck is going on here? Please consult the science or you risk harming the person AND the case.
Tip: Ross Balch