The Control Yuan this week ordered a re-examination of polygraph tests conducted by Lee Fu-kuo (李復國), who was the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s polygraph testing expert and who presided over a number of wrongful conviction cases.
Controversy surrounding Lee and his judgements have cast doubt on the reliability and scientific validity of polygraph testing and have led to questions of whether wrongful prosecution arose from human error or unethical conduct.
A Control Yuan committee approved an investigation report on Wednesday looking into the issue and mandated the Executive Yuan open a probe into cases dating back to 1988 as presided over by Lee, who in 2008 retired from his position at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau.
The most prominent conviction that resulted from Lee’s polygraph assessment was Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), a 21-year-old who was serving his compulsory military service at an air force headquarters office and who was executed in 1997 after being wrongly identified as the man who raped and killed a five-year-old girl. He was posthumously acquitted in 2011.
Chiang and his family had maintained his innocence and said that he was tortured and forced to sign a “confession.”
Lee was the polygraph expert at the bureau during the investigation and conducted the testing on a number of suspects at the office.
Chiang was reportedly the only suspect who failed the polygraph test administered by Lee.
Air force officials and the military tribunal fingered Chiang as the main suspect and he was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death less than one year after the investigation began.
In another case involving the theft of ammunition at a Taoyuan military base in 1999, officials focused their investigation on three soldiers who reportedly failed Lee’s polygraph tests.
However, tests by another expert from the police agency cleared them.
In 2000, four men were charged over the theft based on physical evidence, thereby clearing the three accused soldiers.
Control Yuan members Wang Mei-yu (王美玉) and Chang Kui-mei (仉桂美), who wrote the report, said their findings cast doubt on the use of polygraph testing in judicial investigations, saying that results can be interpreted subjectively and are prone to human error.
“We found there is no standard procedure and no regulations for polygraph testing. The use of the results in criminal trials infringes on the rights of the accused and violates other human rights issues,” Wang said.
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with