Tag Archives | truth serum

Aurora Shooter Could Be Given ‘Truth Serum’ To Establish His Insanity

Instances of the age-old sodium pentothal technique in the criminal justice system is exceedingly rare. Could its possible use to get inside the mind of this high-profile mass killer kick off a trend? Via the New York Times:

The defendant in the Aurora theater shooting can be given “truth serum” if he pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, the judge in the case said Monday. James E. Holmes also could be given a polygraph examination as part of an evaluation to determine if he was legally insane at the time of the July 20 shootings.

Judge William Sylvester approved the use of a “narcoanalytic interview,” a decades-old process in which patients are given drugs to reduce their inhibitions. The prospect of such an interview alarmed defense lawyers, who filed documents opposing the technique. Mr. Holmes, 25, is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

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Indian Police Still Using Truth Serum

Critics say the results are more truth-y than truthful. The Guardian writes:

It is the sort of scene that belongs in a film noir, not a 21st-century democracy: an uncooperative suspect being injected with a dose of “truth serum” in an attempt to elicit a confession. But some detectives in India still swear by so-called narcoanalysis despite India’s highest court ruling that it was not only unreliable but also “cruel, inhuman and degrading”.

The technique is back in the news after officers from India’s Central Bureau of Investigation asked a judge for permission to administer sodium pentothal to a high-profile Indian politician and his financial adviser embroiled in a corruption case.

There are no official figures for the number of suspects who have been subjected to narcoanalysis, but VH Patel, deputy director at the Directorate of Forensic Sciences in Gujarat, western India, [said] he had personally conducted narcoanalysis in nearly 100 cases.

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