Monday, November 1, 2010

Body Language and DNA Exonerations

Via Joe Navarro @ Spycatcher.
And while these facts are startling, nothing was as shocking to me as this single fact which I discovered while researching these 261 cases: In 100% percent of these cases, the prosecutor and the judge, but more importantly, the investigating officers who initiated these cases through the legal system, believed that these individuals were lying when they denied their complicity. One hundred percent is a number that you almost never hear in anything, even germ killers are only 99% effective), and yet here, 100% of the officers involved were convinced through statements and through reading the defendant’s body language that they were the true culprit. 100% of the officers involved swore and averred that these individuals were culpable, beyond all doubt, lying in their protestations and declarations of innocence. This is the part that should make every law enforcement officer who is ethical and every citizen to take pause. 100% of the officers in these cases failed to detect the truth.
This is a hard pill to swallow, that so many could be so wrong. This can only occur when there is arrogant self assurance that one can tell when someone is lying. Especially when scientific research has been telling us for nearly three decades that we humans are not better than chance, a 50/50 proposition (coin toss) at detecting deception (Ekman; Ekman & O’Sullivan; Ford; DePaulo, et. al.; Kassin, Vrij). And pathetically, a very few, and I mean very few, under special circumstances, rise only to slightly above chance; at most maybe 60% of the time (Navarro 2008, 205-231). This is why in these 261 DNA exonerations we have 100% failure on the part of the officers − believing that these individuals were culpable. It is because of our inability to detect deception accurately that they failed so miserably.
Click Here to Read: Body Language and DNA Exonerations

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