Tasers, Lie Detectors, And An End To Perjury
January 20, 2017 (Fault Lines) — Perjury, the crime of giving false testimony under oath, is a problem that largely goes unchecked in the criminal justice system. There’s good reason for this. While lawyers and judges possess really good skills at detecting false testimony, it simply isn’t pragmatic in many cases to punish those who lie on the stand.
That doesn’t mean we can’t eliminate false testimony from the courtroom altogether. Technology gives us a simple, economically sound method of deterring any witness in a criminal proceeding from lying on the stand. Fuse a taser with a polygraph machine and you stop liars in their tracks.
When a witness is called to the stand in a court proceeding, they will take the standard oath. They will then be hooked to a polygraph machine, more commonly known as a lie detector. The first questions asked each witness would serve as the baseline response to detect any shifts in behavior.
If a witness lies on the stand, the polygraph will capture the lie and kick in the taser unit. This would take the form of a bracelet, anklet or arm cuff attached to each witness as they were hooked to the polygraph. False statements picked up by the polygraph would send a signal to the taser, which administers a nice 50,000 volt shock to the body.
This new technology would allow courtroom officials to know in an instant when someone lies on the stand. No more effort would be expended trying to catch an inconsistency or reading body language. Witnesses will let you know when they lie through their howls of pain.
Once this new corrective measure takes hold, the number of lying witnesses will drop exponentially. If a witness knows a lie literally has shocking consequences, they will think long and hard before making a false statement. Pain is a strong deterrence, and will force those who would deceive a judge into actually telling the truth.
Implementation of this new technology would be cost effective. Inexpensive Tasers run approximately $300, while your low-end lie detectors run a grand. That’s $1300 per courtroom, a drop in the bucket for communities spending millions on public safety.
Prosecutors won’t have to worry about perjury charges and judges won’t have to assess punishments unless they absolutely feel like it. The shock from a stun cuff will be punitive enough. District Attorneys and AUSAs will have more time and resources to pursue real crimes like rape and murder.
If you, dear reader, wish to respond by pointing out the statistics showing the unreliability of polygraph machines, or get outraged at the potential medical problems a high voltage shock to someone on the witness stand might cause, spare us all and move on. No one ever said the system was perfect. This is the best solution possible to end perjury in American courts.
Tasers and polygraph machines combined make for an exciting time in the criminal justice system. It’s the best and brightest method of making sure truth exists in the courtroom and justice is sought. Once deceitful types know the jarring consequences of their misdeeds, truth will shine brighter than a lightning bolt, and courts can work more effectively.