The Uphill Slide

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Denial Polygraphs

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I try to understand the procedures of this justice system with sex offenders. At some point as an offender, you may find yourself subjected to a denial polygraph which legal minds have suggested you will probably fail, not because of actual guilt necessarily, but because of administration. It makes sense that the system wants you to fail since the opposite would suggest some mistake was made in the conviction. (Don’t even start with that reasoning of conviction by a ‘jury of your peers’. How could these people listen and make a mistake? I have sat in that courtroom and pray that I am never called for jury duty and forced to question whether I ruined an innocent person’s life with my part in a verdict. When the judge in closing said something to those jury members about enjoying the experience, I wondered if I had not known the players in this drama, would I have been a jury member enjoying the play?)

Mistakes. We all know those people who refuse to accept their own mistakes. Even I hate to admit mistakes. Is that unwillingness because we feel we are always right or because it would seem as weakness to accept responsibility for our mistakes. Would it make us question ourselves and our beliefs? Will it damage the system to accept that it is imperfect too many times? Will people lose faith in such an imperfect system?  There are many as I, who have already lost faith in the system and for some of those working in that system. As the mother of a child I believe was wrongfully convicted, of course I have lost faith. How could I have faith in a system that made such a horrible mistake and ruined my son’s life? But I have also lost faith in this system for the guilty too.

If you fail that polygraph, as you very possibly may, you can be sent back to jail based on a device and faith in a test that is inadmissible in court. Is that even legal? It seems we like to use the polygraph, yet we do not have complete faith in it. We like it most when it gives us what we want. Certainly I would like it too if it gave me what I wanted. After you are sent back to jail, you will eventually get released to start all over again, so those who control your life can keep trying to get what they need for validation of their work. If they succeed in finally defeating you, whether it is the truth will not be important. The possibility that they have elicited a lie will never be considered. They will gleefully point to an admission saying “See, See. I was right. I was right.” Were they right? Or were they the torturer that had already decided the truth  before entering the torture chamber and won the battle with fear, pain and hardship? The only question is how long will it take to get what they want, and how much is it going to cost that victim to keep fighting; because this story is also about the money to be made from the convicted and their families. It is so much cheaper to be the submissive. How much can a person endure? My son and I recently asked each other how much more we could endure in this life. People keep piling it on, and we have not reached the end yet.

Truth and justice is a victim in this system. It is the law of men who believed laws would give us justice, but we have seen many laws that did not. It is the system that is most important especially to those who work within it. Who does not want to believe in what they do? I would feel great satisfaction in convicting the guilty and freeing the innocent, but it is the mistakes that would torture me. Will it be chaos to suggest that we have made many mistakes? Certainly any change will come slowly if ever, because this is as much about money as anything. For us, Jacob is stuck within this system. Someone said it is so easy to get into the system, as we abruptly learned with those lies of a young relative on the heels of a marital separation, but it is almost insurmountable to get out. As an accused you stand alone or with only those few who believe in you and the lawyer you can afford to hire against those who have already made judgment on you. That one person had the ability to ruin my son’s life with lies and did.

I have read of cases when an accused appeared to have a case to prove innocence but missed some deadline. It is the lucky few that find advocates to fight for them, yet they still can not escape the procedures of the law to get justice. They are martyrs to justice. There are none this system works harder to destroy than those who continue to claim innocence before trial, and even more so, after conviction.

I cannot seem to wrap my mind around this convoluted thinking in the polygraph and wonder how this insistence on admissions does not violate a person’s appellate rights by forcing an innocent person to confess lies and punishing them for refusing. If seems that even after you are convicted, no one is satisfied until they mold you into what they want and claim success. You are punished over and over. Is some of this punishment now for exercising appellate right as it was for exercising the right to trial? I am not a lawyer and those in this system will say I just do not understand the law. I do not.


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