Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Evidence Accused Took Polygraph Was Admissible on Cross Examination

United States v. Tenorio, 2015 WL 9466867 (12/29/2015) (NM): The panel finds that evidence the accused took a polygraph may be admissible in rebuttal or cross-examination to counter the accused’s attack on the nature of a criminal investigation or his claim that his statement to the police was coerced. The panel explained the jury is entitled to a full explanation of the interaction between the accused and the police. The accused’s “presentation of half of the story gave the government a strong interest in completing the other half.” Besides, noted the panel, the district court did not allow evidence of the result and instructed the jury to consider the polygraph evidence only in explaining the agents’ actions. It seems that in a different case, the accused might have a “strong interest in completing the other half” of the story that the government did not tell. Perhaps this case will help that argument.