PRC use of new lie detector in corruption cases
shulsky at rand.org
Thu Feb 1 17:24:48 EST 2001
Friday, February 2, 2001
New lie detector unleashed
The Ministry of Public Security will allow the use of a new form of
lie detector to help nail down corrupt officials.
The ministry tested the PG7 multiple variable lie detector last
month and approved it for use in court investigations, the Henan
based Dahe Daily reported.
The lie detector was developed over 10 years by the Scientific
Information Institute of the Ministry of Finance and the Academy of
Natural Science. It will monitor the suspect's blood pressure, pulse,
breath, pupil movement and brain waves.
Many justice departments have shown interest, as well the
Government's anti-graft bureaus. The device is likely to be used for
corruption trials and business disputes where evidence is often
A prosecutor quoted in the report said officials on corruption
charges often held important positions and could use their power to
hide or distort evidence.
More than 10 anti-corruption bureaus had used earlier versions of
the lie detector to help determine if a corruption charge was valid,
the paper said.
The first mainland-made lie detector was introduced in 1991 and
since then has been used in more than 2,000 cases, according to the
The use of the lie detector is not without controversy. A recent
case found that a mainland police officer was sentenced to death and
spent more than two years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He
failed his lie-detector test.
Professor Liu Chengxun, of the Academy of Natural Science, said it
was important not to wrong an innocent person. "If you let one
criminal go, you just make one mistake; but if you sentence a good
person, you make two mistakes - you set the criminal free and you
have wronged an innocent person."
Published in the South China Morning Post. Copyright
© 2001. All rights reserved.
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