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Sun., Sept. 1, 2013

Give informants a polygraph

Concerning the three Spokane men wrongfully convicted of a drug robbery (Aug. 11), I wish to express my opinion. I have a lot of respect for Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and the employees of his office. Furthermore, I am confident Detective Doug Marske acted in good faith with what appeared to him as solid facts. What went wrong?

Informants are precious to police investigations. But if the informant has been reliable in past, is he/she providing reliable information now? I don’t know if the informant in this case was subjected to a polygraph examination or not. However, some law enforcement agencies often conduct polygraph examinations on their informants/witnesses. In other jurisdictions, the office of the prosecuting attorney/district attorney will administer their own examination. That is not an indictment of the police, but just another check and balance within the system.

With best intentions and procedure being followed, things can still go wrong. For everyone, the price of a wrongful conviction is too high.

Charles Delgado


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