How to save money on trials and bypass the self-incrimination laws at the same time. And also bypass “judgment via a jury of your peers” and the need for the prosecution to “prove their case” “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This may also be skirting on the edge of torture, but who knows what “torture” is? In any case, we do not “torture”. That’s our “policy” and we swear it’s the “truth”. But, hey, there’s “due process” and there’s “judicial process”, according to our US Attorney General, Eric Holder – I’m not sure which this represents. Maybe there’s a third process out there being invented as we speak.
On the other hand, if this is allowable, there are a few humans (I use the term in jest – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al, and a significant number of those currently in office, are not humans as the word is commonly understood) whom we maybe ought to get up there in front of this new process.
Seriously, WTF? Think about the ramifications of this, without regard to the particular defendant in this case.
Aurora cinema shooting: Judge approves ‘truth serum’ interrogation
James Holmes, the student accused of the ‘Batman’ movie massacre in a Colorado cinema, could be given a truth serum as part of a narcoanalytic interview to determine whether he is insane, as a judge enters a not guilty plea on his behalf.
James Holmes, 25, a former neuroscience PhD student, is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others during a shooting rampage during a ‘Batman’ movie premiere at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, last July.
Holmes faces a total of 166 different counts relating to the shootings.
His defense team had initially said he was not ready to enter a plea, so the judge entered a not guilty plea on is behalf. Judge William Blair Sylvester said Holmes could change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity later, if he chooses to.
His defense lawyers had indicated that he may plead not guilty by reason of insanity. If he does enter an insanity plea, the judge has ruled that he may have to undergo an interview under the influence of drugs –dubbed a ‘truth serum’ – in order to evaluate his mental state.
The process is designed to lower a patient’s inhibition, and is decades old. Judge Sylvester has also ruled that he may be given a lie detector test. […]
Update: Turns out the Supreme Court already ruled on this issue, back in 1963, although after 9/11 they indicated they might have to defer a bit to the politicians vis a vis this sort of thing with respect to terrorism. Holmes, of course, is not a “terrorist”; if guilty, he is a mass murderer. And that is what his trial is for.
“[…] Numerous decisions of this Court have established the standards governing the admissibility of confessions into evidence. If an individual’s ‘will was overborne’ 2 or if his confession was not ‘the product of a rational intellect and a free will,’ 3 his confession is inadmissible because coerced. These standards are applicable whether a confession is the product of physical intimidation or psychological pressure and, of course, are equally applicable to a drug-induced statement. It is difficult to imagine a situation in which a confession would be less the product of a free intellect, less voluntary, than when brought about by a drug having the effect of a ‘truth serum.’ […]” – MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN TOWNSEND v. SAIN, 372 U.S. 293 (1963)
“[…] In 1963 the Supreme Court ruled that a confession produced under the influence of truth serum was unconstitutionally coerced, and therefore inadmissible. After that, the use of such drugs fell rapidly from popularity in the U.S.. But truth serums may not be gone for good, as the Supreme Court asserted shortly after 9/11 that terrorism may require ‘heightened deference to the judgments of the political branches with respect to matters of national security.’ […]” – http://www.damninteresting.com/the-truth-about-truth-serum/