Letters : Lie-detector test could be a legitimate solution to mitigate perjury at the TRRC



In considering the use of a polygraph test also referred to as lie-detector test to deter lying, or to screen prospective witnesses to testify in a high-risk position of trust; a certain measure of caution must be exercised by the Truth Reconciliation and Repatriations Commission (TRRC).

Over the years there have been tons of in depth, gruesome, and totally fascinating cases. In fact, some of these cases are so bizarre that you would think they came right out of a true crime novel. Tons of work, investigative research, and evidence collecting went into each one of these cases, but at the end of the day it was the lie detector test that truly solved the entire case.


Appearing as a public witness in a hearing before the TRRC can be daunting to some people and to be cognizant of the commission proceedings, witnesses should be made to take lie detector tests in the commission’s bid to ensure witnesses tell the truth, nothing but the whole truth before the commission when commissioners hears evidence and testimony from witnesses.

This test will be used to ascertain the integrity of its witnesses. This move can be one of the many processes the commission can put in place in avoiding perjury.

As an initial step, all witnesses will undergo fresh vetting, including, a smart lie-detection system, a polygraph testing to determine their integrity and suitability. This unique approach to ‘deception detection’ analyses the micro-expressions of the commission to figure out if the witness is lying. Those who fail the vetting be not entertained to testify before the commission.

The TRRC should be employing existing and proven technologies – as well as novel ones – to empower counsels to increase the accuracy and efficiency of witness testimony at the commission. For example, if you ask people to lie, they will do it differently and show very different behavioural cues than if they truly lie, knowing that they may go to jail or face serious consequences if caught. This is a known problem in psychology. Polygraph testing could pose a legitimate solution to mitigate truth telling in the commission hearings.

Alagi Yorro Jallow