Could the Lie Detector Replace Traditional Police Interrogations?

The lie detector, billed as “a mechanical instrument of the future” by one of its earliest proponents, would in theory replace traditional police interrogations (heavily dependent on the third degree) and jury deliberations. It would allow private companies and the government to weed out thieves and spies. It would shine a high-intensity beam into the deepest recesses of the psyche, advancing the work of psychologists and psychiatrists. That was the promise. But toward the end of his life John Larson, inventor of the machine, despaired. He called his work “a Frankenstein’s monster, which I have spent over 40 years in combating.”

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