First, let’s examine the background for the use of chemicals. Because of its use for obtaining confessions from suspects and the general idea that suspects (or anyone else) are not capable of lying while under its’ influence it has been referred to as “truth serum.” Over time the chemical(s) has changed. The first truth serum to be identified and classified as such was a pharmacological agent used as an anesthetic named scopolamine. Robert House, an obstetrician in Texas, was using this chemical for his pregnant patients in 1916. He noticed that some of his patients who received the anesthetic scopolamine during delivery fell into a half-sleep in which they could sometimes answer questions without remembering having done so afterward (REFERENCE EL-HAI).
Scopolamine works by depressing the central nervous system and diminishing inhibitions, thus, allowing for them to be less guarded and use less discretion and caution allowing them to “spill the beans.” Albeit, Dr. House had the idea that this chemical could be used to help with verifying a suspect’s claim of innocence, contrary to today’s idea of getting a confession. He so strongly believed in this theory that he traveled to various jails and demonstrated the process of using chemicals to validate claimed innocence. In 192...
... middle of paper ...
...ly does it not inflict any harm upon suspects, which could lead to false confessions, but this technique seeks the truth, not necessarily confessions. Important as well, is the Supreme Court has stood behind the Reid Technique, and I also find it impressive that Reid and Associates work with the Innocence Project to help guard against false imprisonments and false confessions. The Reid Technique is the obvious best choice to make.
Browne, Matt http://www.fluther.com/126070/use-of-truth-serums-to-save-lives-pros-and-cons/
Sheedy Charles E. C.S.C. http://www.ts.mu.edu/readers/content/pdf/20/20.3/20.3.2.pdf
Lee, Martin A.http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0604-06.htm
El-Hai, Jack http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/09/was-there-any-truth-in-truth-serum.html
Adams, Cecil http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2911/do-truth-serums-work
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