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Diminishes the jury's role

The trial by jury is a bedrock of many Western legal systems. Lie detectors diminish the role of the jury in the legal process.

Context

Many legal systems operate on the founding principles of a trial by jury. In these cases, the defendant is entitled to be tried in front of a jury of their peers. This jury will be the sole body that determines guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The Argument

Lie detectors, by nature, undermine the fundamental principles of a trial by jury. They diminish the jury’s role in determining guilt. The jury would likely give too much credence to a lie detector result and overlook other strands of evidence presented.

Counter arguments

Assuming that a jury can’t understand that lie detectors are not infallible and would not use them to supplement a decision but as the basis of the legal decision undermines the intelligence of the average citizen. [1] Juries are capable of understanding that lie detectors should be used as a supplement, not the basis, for a case. They can be trusted to carefully consider the evidence presented, of which a polygraph test is only one, potentially fallible part.

Premises

[P1] The jury is assigned the task of determining guilt, not a lie detector. [P2] If lie detector tests were admissible in court, they would undermine the principles of a trial by jury. [P3] Therefore, they should not be admissible in court.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The jury would still be in charge of determining guilt. [Rejecting P2] The polygraph test results would just be another piece of evidence. It would not form the basis of a guilty verdict, but nor would it be dismissed. [Rejecting P3] Lie detectors are a useful tool for establishing deceit. Therefore, they should be used, alongside other legal tools to measure deceit, and be admissible in the court of law.

References

  1. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lie-detector-tests_b_3237946

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019 at 16:26 UTC