Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt

Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt


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The ordeal of rice is a divine method of proof that was employed in ancient India. This ordeal involves suspects chewing on rice grains and then spitting them out. The condition of the grains is then used to determine if a person was innocent or guilty of a crime that had been committed. The bizarre part of all this, is that the efficacy of this method has actually been proven, with the science behind it explained.

The ordeal of rice is found in the Naradasmrti, which is a part of the Dharmashastra. When the British colonized India, the Dharmashastra was thought to be the law of the land of the Hindus in India , and thus connected it with Hindu Law. This Sanskrit literary genre, however, dealt not only with legal matter, but also with other aspects, including religion and ethics. The Dharmashastra contains hundreds of texts , along with commentaries and digests. The Naradasmrti is one of the major smrtis of this corpus of ancient texts .

Manuscript of the Naradasmrti which documents the ordeal of rice. (Ms Sarah Welch / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The Steps of Ordeal of Rice

In the Naradasmrti, seven different types of ordeals are given, one of which being the ordeal of rice. The text states that the ordeal of rice is to be used only in cases of theft and not for any other type of crime. The text also states that only white grain of rice, and not any other grain, is to be used. The judge involved has to have cleansed himself previously before administering this ordeal. The judge would then place the rice grain in an earthen vessel before an image of the sun deity . The vessel would then be filled with water that was used to bathe the image of this deity and left overnight.

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Hindu sun deity, Surya, oversaw the ordeal of rice. ( శ్రీధర్ బబు / )

The next day, the defendant would be given the rice grains to chew. Before undertaking the ordeal, the defendant is required to take a bath and fast. During the ordeal, the defendant has to face the east and to proclaim the charge himself. After chewing the rice, the defendant would spit out the grains onto a leaf from a sacred fig (known also as the bodhi tree). If this is unavailable, the leaf from a birch tree may be used instead. The defendant is pronounced guilty if blood is present on the grains as they are spat out, if his gums are hurt, or if his limbs were shaking during the ordeal.

A Recent Case of the Ordeal of Rice

Although the ordeal of rice dates back to ancient times, it was used even in more recent times, as evidenced in an account dating to the 19 th century. This incident involved the theft of a gold watch belonging to a man named George Christian, who was living with three other men in Calcutta. The four men set up a domestic court of inquiry but failed to catch the culprit. While the rest of the men suspected that it was one of Christian’s own servants who was behind the crime, Christian himself refused to entertain the idea.

The ordeal of rice was used to determine guilt. Source: Aerial Mike / Adobe.

In any case, one of the munshis in the employment of the men suggested that they procure the service of a ‘professor of magic’ who was working for the Calcutta police. This ‘professor of magic’ specialized in catching thieves via the use of the ordeal of rice. This was done, and the professor, along with two or three policemen, came to the house. Instead of rice grains, however, rice flour was used, and this was poured into the open mouths of the servants. They were then ordered to chew the flour and to spit it out onto a piece of plantain leaf after five minutes.

Ordeal of Rice Catches a Thief

It was through this ordeal of rice that the thief was caught. As expected, the innocent servants had no difficulty with this ordeal, and were able to spit the flour out after five minutes. It was only Abdul, Christian’s favorite servant, who failed, and therefore pronounced guilty. Abdul admitted to his crime and returned the watch to Christian. He was then brought before a domestic tribunal, and sentenced to 20 strokes of the rattan, after which he re-entered the service of his master.

The servant failed the ordeal of rice during the domestic tribunal using rice flour. ( fascinadora / Adobe)

Abdul’s inability to spit out the rice flour was due to the fact that he was nervous during the ordeal, knowing that he was the culprit, and that his crime would soon be exposed. Due to this fear, his salivary glands were not able to produce saliva that was necessary to moisten the flour, and this was taken as evidence of his guilt. It has been found that when a person is afraid, their mouth becomes dry, as fear causes the salivary glands to stop secreting saliva. While the ancient Indians might not have known of the science behind the phenomenon, they must have made enough observations to realize the phenomenon itself, and therefore designed the ordeal of rice specifically to catch thieves.


Criminal Judicial System Under Hindu Period

The subject of Legal History comprises the growth, evolution and development Of the legal system of a country it sets forth the historical process where by a legal system has come to be what it is over.

Hindu Period: these period extents for nearly 1500 years before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The ancient India was divided into several independent states and the King was the supreme authority of each state. As far as the administration of justice is concerned the King was considered the fountain of justice. He was entrusted with the supreme authority of the administration of justice in his kingdom. The essential features of judicial system of this period were as follows:

A. Organization of Court Structure:

Following courts were exist during the ancient Hindu period:

The Kings court was the highest court of appeal in the state. It was also a court of original jurisdiction for cases of vital importance to the state. In Kings Court the King was advised by learned Brahmins, The Chief Justice and other judges, ministers, elders and representatives of the trading community.

The Chief Justice’s Court:

The Chief Justices Court which consisted of the Chief Justice and a board of judges to assist the Chief Justice. All the judges in the board belonged to three upper castes preferable Brahmins.

Sometimes separate tribunals with specified territorial jurisdiction used to be formed from among judges who were members of the board of the Chief Justice’s court.

D. Town or District Court:

In towns and districts courts were run by the government officials to administer justice under the authority of the king.

E. Village Council:

The local village councils or Kulani was constituted at village level .This councils consisted of a board of five or more members for administration of justice to villagers. The councils dealt with civil and criminal matters.

B. Judicial Procedure:

A. Stages of a Suit:-

A suit or trial consisted of four stages the plaint, the reply and investigation and finally the verdict or decision of the court.

B. Bench of more than one Judges:-

The courts were functioning on the principle that justice should not be administered by a single judge. Generally a bench of two or more judges would administer justice. Even the King decided cases in his council.

Appointment of Judges and Judicial Standard:-

In the appointment of the Chief Justice and other judges the question of caste consideration played vital role. The Chief Justice was mandatory appointed from Brahmins. A sudra was forbidden to be appointed as a judge. Appointments were made from among the persons who were highly qualified and learned in law. Women were not allowed to hold the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the oath of impartiality when deciding disputes between citizens.

D. Doctrine of Precedent:–

The decisions of the King’s court were binding on all lower courts. The principles of law declared by higher courts were taken into consideration by the lower courts while deciding cases.

During the course of proceeding both the parties were required to prove their case by producing evidence. Ordinarily, evidence was based on any or all the three sources, namely, documents, witnesses, and the possession of incriminating objects. In criminal cases, sometimes circumstantial evidence was sufficient to punish the criminal or acquit him.

C. Trial by Ordeal:

Ordeal which was a kind of custom based on religion and faith in God was a means of proof to determine the guilt of the person. The application of trial by ordeal was limited only to the cases where any concrete evidence on either side was not available. This system ordeal was very painful and dangerous to the accused, and sometimes the person giving ordeal died during the ordeal. Some common ordeals are described below:

Ordeal by Fire: According to the Hindu myth fire is considered to be God and it has purifying qualities. According to the ordeal of fire, the accused was directed to walk through or stand or sit in fire for some specified time. If the accused comes out from the fire without any harm, he was considered to innocent.

Sometime the accused was asked to carry a red hot iron ball in his hand and walk a few paces. If he had no signs of burns after the ordeal, he was considered to be innocent.

Ordeal by water: Water seen as a sign of purity under the Hindu mythology was used to test the guilt of the accused. The accused was required to stand in waist- deep water and then to sit down in the water, as an archer shot to an arrow. If the accused remained in the water during the time limit, he was held to be innocent,. Alternatively the accused was required to drink water used in bathing the idol. If he had no harmful effects within next fourteen days, he was declared to be innocent.

C. Ordeal by Poison:-

This method was also based on the view that God protects innocent people. The accused was required to drink poison without vomiting it. If he survived, he was declared to be innocent.

D. Ordeal by Rice- grains:-

The accused was required to chew un- husked rice and then asked to spit out. If blood appeared in his mouth, he was considered to be guilty, otherwise not.

E. Ordeal by Lot:-

Two lots of the same type representing Right (Dharma) and Wrong (Adharma) were placed in a jar. The accused was asked to draw a lot, if the accused drew Dharma he was declared innocent.

D. Trial by Jury:

The jury system existed in ancient India but not in the same from as understood in today’s world. There is evidence that the community members used to assist the administration of justice. They were merely examiners of the case of conflict and placed true facts before the judge though the verdict was declared by the presiding judge and by the jury.

E. crimes and punishments:

The philosophy of crime and punishment was based on the idea that the punishment removed impurities from the accused person and his character is reformed. Before punishment was to be awarded the judge had to consider the motive and nature of the offence, time and place, strength, age, conduct, learning and monetary position of the offender.

There were four methods of punishment- by gentle admonition, by severe reproof, by fine and by corporal punishment. These punishments could be inflicted separately or together depending upon the nature of the offence.

Judges always considered the relevant circumstances before deciding actual punishment. The severity of punishment depended on caste as well.

Certain classes of persons were exempted from punishment:-

  • Old people over eighty
  • Boys below sixteen
  • Women and persons suffering from diseases were to be given half of the normal punishment.
  • A child below five was considered to be immune from committing any crime and therefore was not liable to be punished.
  • In adultery and rape, punishment was awarded on the basis of the caste consideration of the offender and of the woman.
  • In abuse or contempt case every care was taken to see that each higher caste got due respect from persons of lower caste.

For example:- If a person of a lower caste set with a person of higher cast, the man of the lower caste was to be branded on the breech. For committing murder the murder was to pay 1000 cows for killing a Kshatriya, 100 for a Vaisyo and 10 for a Sudra. These cows were given to the King to be delivered to the relatives of the murdered person. A bull was given to the King as a fine for murder.

If a Brahmin was killed a person of lower caste, the murderer would be put to death and his property confiscated.

If a Brahmin was killed by another Brahmin he was to be branded and banished. If a Brahmin killed a person from lower caste, he was to compound for the harem of the King, adding the King’s enemy, creating revolt in the army, murdering ones father or mother or committing serious arson, capital punishment was given in varied forms, namely, roasting alive, drowning, trampling by elephants, devouring by dogs, cutting into pieces, impalement etc.

The above discussion on crime and punishment gives a necessary idea that infliction of punishment was not based on any broad principle rather on whim and caste consideration which was completely devoid of humanity and ethics.


The race to create a perfect lie detector – and the dangers of succeeding

W e learn to lie as children, between the ages of two and five. By adulthood, we are prolific. We lie to our employers, our partners and, most of all, one study has found, to our mothers. The average person hears up to 200 lies a day, according to research by Jerry Jellison, a psychologist at the University of Southern California. The majority of the lies we tell are “white”, the inconsequential niceties – “I love your dress!” – that grease the wheels of human interaction. But most people tell one or two “big” lies a day, says Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire. We lie to promote ourselves, protect ourselves and to hurt or avoid hurting others.

The mystery is how we keep getting away with it. Our bodies expose us in every way. Hearts race, sweat drips and micro-expressions leak from small muscles in the face. We stutter, stall and make Freudian slips. “No mortal can keep a secret,” wrote the psychoanalyst in 1905. “If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips. Betrayal oozes out of him at every pore.”

Even so, we are hopeless at spotting deception. On average, across 206 scientific studies, people can separate truth from lies just 54% of the time – only marginally better than tossing a coin. “People are bad at it because the differences between truth-tellers and liars are typically small and unreliable,” said Aldert Vrij, a psychologist at the University of Portsmouth who has spent years studying ways to detect deception. Some people stiffen and freeze when put on the spot, others become more animated. Liars can spin yarns packed with colour and detail, and truth-tellers can seem vague and evasive.

Humans have been trying to overcome this problem for millennia. The search for a perfect lie detector has involved torture, trials by ordeal and, in ancient India, an encounter with a donkey in a dark room. Three thousand years ago in China, the accused were forced to chew and spit out rice the grains were thought to stick in the dry, nervous mouths of the guilty. In 1730, the English writer Daniel Defoe suggested taking the pulse of suspected pickpockets. “Guilt carries fear always about with it,” he wrote. “There is a tremor in the blood of a thief.” More recently, lie detection has largely been equated with the juddering styluses of the polygraph machine – the quintessential lie detector beloved by daytime television hosts and police procedurals. But none of these methods has yielded a reliable way to separate fiction from fact.

That could soon change. In the past couple of decades, the rise of cheap computing power, brain-scanning technologies and artificial intelligence has given birth to what many claim is a powerful new generation of lie-detection tools. Startups, racing to commercialise these developments, want us to believe that a virtually infallible lie detector is just around the corner.

Their inventions are being snapped up by police forces, state agencies and nations desperate to secure themselves against foreign threats. They are also being used by employers, insurance companies and welfare officers. “We’ve seen an increase in interest from both the private sector and within government,” said Todd Mickelsen, the CEO of Converus, which makes a lie detector based on eye movements and subtle changes in pupil size.

Converus’s technology, EyeDetect, has been used by FedEx in Panama and Uber in Mexico to screen out drivers with criminal histories, and by the credit ratings agency Experian, which tests its staff in Colombia to make sure they aren’t manipulating the company’s database to secure loans for family members. In the UK, Northumbria police are carrying out a pilot scheme that uses EyeDetect to measure the rehabilitation of sex offenders. Other EyeDetect customers include the government of Afghanistan, McDonald’s and dozens of local police departments in the US. Soon, large-scale lie-detection programmes could be coming to the borders of the US and the European Union, where they would flag potentially deceptive travellers for further questioning.

But as tools such as EyeDetect infiltrate more and more areas of public and private life, there are urgent questions to be answered about their scientific validity and ethical use. In our age of high surveillance and anxieties about all-powerful AIs, the idea that a machine could read our most personal thoughts feels more plausible than ever to us as individuals, and to the governments and corporations funding the new wave of lie-detection research. But what if states and employers come to believe in the power of a lie-detection technology that proves to be deeply biased – or that doesn’t actually work?

And what do we do with these technologies if they do succeed? A machine that reliably sorts truth from falsehood could have profound implications for human conduct. The creators of these tools argue that by weeding out deception they can create a fairer, safer world. But the ways lie detectors have been used in the past suggests such claims may be far too optimistic.

F or most of us, most of the time, lying is more taxing and more stressful than honesty. To calculate another person’s view, suppress emotions and hold back from blurting out the truth requires more thought and more energy than simply being honest. It demands that we bear what psychologists call a cognitive load. Carrying that burden, most lie-detection theories assume, leaves evidence in our bodies and actions.

Lie-detection technologies tend to examine five different types of evidence. The first two are verbal: the things we say and the way we say them. Jeff Hancock, an expert on digital communication at Stanford, has found that people who are lying in their online dating profiles tend to use the words “I”, “me” and “my” more often, for instance. Voice-stress analysis, which aims to detect deception based on changes in tone of voice, was used during the interrogation of George Zimmerman, who shot the teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012, and by UK councils between 2007 and 2010 in a pilot scheme that tried to catch benefit cheats over the phone. Only five of the 23 local authorities where voice analysis was trialled judged it a success, but in 2014, it was still in use in 20 councils, according to freedom of information requests by the campaign group False Economy.

The third source of evidence – body language – can also reveal hidden feelings. Some liars display so-called “duper’s delight”, a fleeting expression of glee that crosses the face when they think they have got away with it. Cognitive load makes people move differently, and liars trying to “act natural” can end up doing the opposite. In an experiment in 2015, researchers at the University of Cambridge were able to detect deception more than 70% of the time by using a skintight suit to measure how much subjects fidgeted and froze under questioning.

The fourth type of evidence is physiological. The polygraph measures blood pressure, breathing rate and sweat. Penile plethysmography tests arousal levels in sex offenders by measuring the engorgement of the penis using a special cuff. Infrared cameras analyse facial temperature. Unlike Pinocchio, our noses may actually shrink slightly when we lie as warm blood flows towards the brain.

In the 1990s, new technologies opened up a fifth, ostensibly more direct avenue of investigation: the brain. In the second season of the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, Steven Avery, who is serving a life sentence for a brutal killing he says he did not commit, undergoes a “brain fingerprinting” exam, which uses an electrode-studded headset called an electroencephalogram, or EEG, to read his neural activity and translate it into waves rising and falling on a graph. The test’s inventor, Dr Larry Farwell, claims it can detect knowledge of a crime hidden in a suspect’s brain by picking up a neural response to phrases or pictures relating to the crime that only the perpetrator and investigators would recognise. Another EEG-based test was used in 2008 to convict a 24-year-old Indian woman named Aditi Sharma of murdering her fiance by lacing his food with arsenic, but Sharma’s sentence was eventually overturned on appeal when the Indian supreme court held that the test could violate the subject’s rights against self-incrimination.

After 9/11, the US government – long an enthusiastic sponsor of deception science – started funding other kinds of brain-based lie-detection work through Darpa, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. By 2006, two companies – Cephos and No Lie MRI – were offering lie detection based on functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Using powerful magnets, these tools track the flow of blood to areas of the brain involved in social calculation, memory recall and impulse control.

But just because a lie-detection tool seems technologically sophisticated doesn’t mean it works. “It’s quite simple to beat these tests in ways that are very difficult to detect by a potential investigator,” said Dr Giorgio Ganis, who studies EEG and fMRI-based lie detection at the University of Plymouth. In 2007, a research group set up by the MacArthur Foundation examined fMRI-based deception tests. “After looking at the literature, we concluded that we have no idea whether fMRI can or cannot detect lies,” said Anthony Wagner, a Stanford psychologist and a member of the MacArthur group, who has testified against the admissibility of fMRI lie detection in court.

A new frontier in lie detection is now emerging. An increasing number of projects are using AI to combine multiple sources of evidence into a single measure for deception. Machine learning is accelerating deception research by spotting previously unseen patterns in reams of data. Scientists at the University of Maryland, for example, have developed software that they claim can detect deception from courtroom footage with 88% accuracy.

The algorithms behind such tools are designed to improve continuously over time, and may ultimately end up basing their determinations of guilt and innocence on factors that even the humans who have programmed them don’t understand. These tests are being trialled in job interviews, at border crossings and in police interviews, but as they become increasingly widespread, civil rights groups and scientists are growing more and more concerned about the dangers they could unleash on society.

N othing provides a clearer warning about the threats of the new generation of lie-detection than the history of the polygraph, the world’s best-known and most widely used deception test. Although almost a century old, the machine still dominates both the public perception of lie detection and the testing market, with millions of polygraph tests conducted every year. Ever since its creation, it has been attacked for its questionable accuracy, and for the way it has been used as a tool of coercion. But the polygraph’s flawed science continues to cast a shadow over lie detection technologies today.

Even John Larson, the inventor of the polygraph, came to hate his creation. In 1921, Larson was a 29-year-old rookie police officer working the downtown beat in Berkeley, California. But he had also studied physiology and criminology and, when not on patrol, he was in a lab at the University of California, developing ways to bring science to bear in the fight against crime.

In the spring of 1921, Larson built an ugly device that took continuous measurements of blood pressure and breathing rate, and scratched the results on to a rolling paper cylinder. He then devised an interview-based exam that compared a subject’s physiological response when answering yes or no questions relating to a crime with the subject’s answers to control questions such as “Is your name Jane Doe?” As a proof of concept, he used the test to solve a theft at a women’s dormitory.

John Larson (right), the inventor of the polygraph lie detector. Photograph: Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Larson refined his invention over several years with the help of an enterprising young man named Leonarde Keeler, who envisioned applications for the polygraph well beyond law enforcement. After the Wall Street crash of 1929, Keeler offered a version of the machine that was concealed inside an elegant walnut box to large organisations so they could screen employees suspected of theft.

Not long after, the US government became the world’s largest user of the exam. During the “red scare” of the 1950s, thousands of federal employees were subjected to polygraphs designed to root out communists. The US Army, which set up its first polygraph school in 1951, still trains examiners for all the intelligence agencies at the National Center for Credibility Assessment at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.

Companies also embraced the technology. Throughout much of the last century, about a quarter of US corporations ran polygraph exams on employees to test for issues including histories of drug use and theft. McDonald’s used to use the machine on its workers. By the 1980s, there were up to 10,000 trained polygraph examiners in the US, conducting 2m tests a year.

The only problem was that the polygraph did not work. In 2003, the US National Academy of Sciences published a damning report that found evidence on the polygraph’s accuracy across 57 studies was “far from satisfactory”. History is littered with examples of known criminals who evaded detection by cheating the test. Aldrich Ames, a KGB double agent, passed two polygraphs while working for the CIA in the late 1980s and early 90s. With a little training, it is relatively easy to beat the machine. Floyd “Buzz” Fay, who was falsely convicted of murder in 1979 after a failed polygraph exam, became an expert in the test during his two-and-a-half-years in prison, and started coaching other inmates on how to defeat it. After 15 minutes of instruction, 23 of 27 were able to pass. Common “countermeasures”, which work by exaggerating the body’s response to control questions, include thinking about a frightening experience, stepping on a pin hidden in the shoe, or simply clenching the anus.

The upshot is that the polygraph is not and never was an effective lie detector. There is no way for an examiner to know whether a rise in blood pressure is due to fear of getting caught in a lie, or anxiety about being wrongly accused. Different examiners rating the same charts can get contradictory results and there are huge discrepancies in outcome depending on location, race and gender. In one extreme example, an examiner in Washington state failed one in 20 law enforcement job applicants for having sex with animals he “uncovered” 10 times more bestiality than his colleagues, and twice as much child pornography.

As long ago as 1965, the year Larson died, the US Committee on Government Operations issued a damning verdict on the polygraph. “People have been deceived by a myth that a metal box in the hands of an investigator can detect truth or falsehood,” it concluded. By then, civil rights groups were arguing that the polygraph violated constitutional protections against self-incrimination. In fact, despite the polygraph’s cultural status, in the US, its results are inadmissible in most courts. And in 1988, citing concerns that the polygraph was open to “misuse and abuse”, the US Congress banned its use by employers. Other lie-detectors from the second half of the 20th century fared no better: abandoned Department of Defense projects included the “wiggle chair”, which covertly tracked movement and body temperature during interrogation, and an elaborate system for measuring breathing rate by aiming an infrared laser at the lip through a hole in the wall.

The polygraph remained popular though – not because it was effective, but because people thought it was. “The people who developed the polygraph machine knew that the real power of it was in convincing people that it works,” said Dr Andy Balmer, a sociologist at the University of Manchester who wrote a book called Lie Detection and the Law.

The threat of being outed by the machine was enough to coerce some people into confessions. One examiner in Cincinnati in 1975 left the interrogation room and reportedly watched, bemused, through a two-way mirror as the accused tore 1.8 metres of paper charts off the machine and ate them. (You didn’t even have to have the right machine: in the 1980s, police officers in Detroit extracted confessions by placing a suspect’s hand on a photocopier that spat out sheets of paper with the phrase “He’s Lying!” pre-printed on them.) This was particularly attractive to law enforcement in the US, where it is vastly cheaper to use a machine to get a confession out of someone than it is to take them to trial.

But other people were pushed to admit to crimes they did not commit after the machine wrongly labelled them as lying. The polygraph became a form of psychological torture that wrung false confessions from the vulnerable. Many of these people were then charged, prosecuted and sent to jail – whether by unscrupulous police and prosecutors, or by those who wrongly believed in the polygraph’s power.

Perhaps no one came to understand the coercive potential of his machine better than Larson. Shortly before his death in 1965, he wrote: “Beyond my expectation, through uncontrollable factors, this scientific investigation became for practical purposes a Frankenstein’s monster.”

T he search for a truly effective lie detector gained new urgency after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Several of the hijackers had managed to enter the US after successfully deceiving border agents. Suddenly, intelligence and border services wanted tools that actually worked. A flood of new government funding made lie detection big business again. “Everything changed after 9/11,” writes psychologist Paul Ekman in Telling Lies.

Ekman was one of the beneficiaries of this surge. In the 1970s, he had been filming interviews with psychiatric patients when he noticed a brief flash of despair cross the features of Mary, a 42-year-old suicidal woman, when she lied about feeling better. He spent the next few decades cataloguing how these tiny movements of the face, which he termed “micro-expressions”, can reveal hidden truths.

Ekman’s work was hugely influential with psychologists, and even served as the basis for Lie to Me, a primetime television show that debuted in 2009 with an Ekman-inspired lead played by Tim Roth. But it got its first real-world test in 2006, as part of a raft of new security measures introduced to combat terrorism. That year, Ekman spent a month teaching US immigration officers how to detect deception at passport control by looking for certain micro-expressions. The results are instructive: at least 16 terrorists were permitted to enter the US in the following six years.

Investment in lie-detection technology “goes in waves”, said Dr John Kircher, a University of Utah psychologist who developed a digital scoring system for the polygraph. There were spikes in the early 1980s, the mid-90s and the early 2000s, neatly tracking with Republican administrations and foreign wars. In 2008, under President George W Bush, the US Army spent $700,000 on 94 handheld lie detectors for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Preliminary Credibility Assessment Screening System had three sensors that attached to the hand, connected to an off-the-shelf pager which flashed green for truth, red for lies and yellow if it couldn’t decide. It was about as good as a photocopier at detecting deception – and at eliciting the truth.

Some people believe an accurate lie detector would have allowed border patrol to stop the 9/11 hijackers. “These people were already on watch lists,” Larry Farwell, the inventor of brain fingerprinting, told me. “Brain fingerprinting could have provided the evidence we needed to bring the perpetrators to justice before they actually committed the crime.” A similar logic has been applied in the case of European terrorists who returned from receiving training abroad.

As a result, the frontline for much of the new government-funded lie detection technology has been the borders of the US and Europe. In 2014, travellers flying into Bucharest were interrogated by a virtual border agent called Avatar, an on-screen figure in a white shirt with blue eyes, which introduced itself as “the future of passport control”. As well as an e-passport scanner and fingerprint reader, the Avatar unit has a microphone, an infra-red eye-tracking camera and an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure body movement. It is one of the first “multi-modal” lie detectors – one that incorporates a number of different sources of evidence – since the polygraph.

But the “secret sauce”, according to David Mackstaller, who is taking the technology in Avatar to market via a company called Discern Science, is in the software, which uses an algorithm to combine all of these types of data. The machine aims to send a verdict to a human border guard within 45 seconds, who can either wave the traveller through or pull them aside for additional screening. Mackstaller said he is in talks with governments – he wouldn’t say which ones – about installing Avatar permanently after further tests at Nogales in Arizona on the US-Mexico border, and with federal employees at Reagan Airport near Washington DC. Discern Science claims accuracy rates in their preliminary studies – including the one in Bucharest – have been between 83% and 85%.

The Bucharest trials were supported by Frontex, the EU border agency, which is now funding a competing system called iBorderCtrl, with its own virtual border guard. One aspect of iBorderCtrl is based on Silent Talker, a technology that has been in development at Manchester Metropolitan University since the early 2000s. Silent Talker uses an AI model to analyse more than 40 types of microgestures in the face and head it only needs a camera and an internet connection to function. On a recent visit to the company’s office in central Manchester, I watched video footage of a young man lying about taking money from a box during a mock crime experiment, while in the corner of the screen a dial swung from green, to yellow, to red. In theory, it could be run on a smartphone or used on live television footage, perhaps even during political debates, although co-founder James O’Shea said the company doesn’t want to go down that route – it is targeting law enforcement and insurance.

O’Shea and his colleague Zuhair Bandar claim Silent Talker has an accuracy rate of 75% in studies so far. “We don’t know how it works,” O’Shea said. They stressed the importance of keeping a “human in the loop” when it comes to making decisions based on Silent Talker’s results.

Mackstaller said Avatar’s results will improve as its algorithm learns. He also expects it to perform better in the real world because the penalties for getting caught are much higher, so liars are under more stress. But research shows that the opposite may be true: lab studies tend to overestimate real-world success.

Before these tools are rolled out at scale, clearer evidence is required that they work across different cultures, or with groups of people such as psychopaths, whose non-verbal behaviour may differ from the norm. Much of the research so far has been conducted on white Europeans and Americans. Evidence from other domains, including bail and prison sentencing, suggests that algorithms tend to encode the biases of the societies in which they are created. These effects could be heightened at the border, where some of society’s greatest fears and prejudices play out. What’s more, the black box of an AI model is not conducive to transparent decision making since it cannot explain its reasoning. “We don’t know how it works,” O’Shea said. “The AI system learned how to do it by itself.”

Andy Balmer, the University of Manchester sociologist, fears that technology will be used to reinforce existing biases with a veneer of questionable science – making it harder for individuals from vulnerable groups to challenge decisions. “Most reputable science is clear that lie detection doesn’t work, and yet it persists as a field of study where other things probably would have been abandoned by now,” he said. “That tells us something about what we want from it.”

T he truth has only one face, wrote the 16th-century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, but a lie “has a hundred thousand shapes and no defined limits”. Deception is not a singular phenomenon and, as of yet, we know of no telltale sign of deception that holds true for everyone, in every situation. There is no Pinocchio’s nose. “That’s seen as the holy grail of lie detection,” said Dr Sophie van der Zee, a legal psychologist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. “So far no one has found it.”

The accuracy rates of 80-90% claimed by the likes of EyeDetect and Avatar sound impressive, but applied at the scale of a border crossing, they would lead to thousands of innocent people being wrongly flagged for every genuine threat it identified. It might also mean that two out of every 10 terrorists easily slips through.

History suggests that such shortcomings will not stop these new tools from being used. After all, the polygraph has been widely debunked, but an estimated 2.5m polygraph exams are still conducted in the US every year. It is a $2.5bn industry. In the UK, the polygraph has been used on sex offenders since 2014, and in January 2019, the government announced plans to use it on domestic abusers on parole. The test “cannot be killed by science because it was not born of science”, writes the historian Ken Alder in his book The Lie Detectors.

New technologies may be harder than the polygraph for unscrupulous examiners to deliberately manipulate, but that does not mean they will be fair. AI-powered lie detectors prey on the tendency of both individuals and governments to put faith in science’s supposedly all-seeing eye. And the closer they get to perfect reliability, or at least the closer they appear to get, the more dangerous they will become, because lie detectors often get aimed at society’s most vulnerable: women in the 1920s, suspected dissidents and homosexuals in the 60s, benefit claimants in the 2000s, asylum seekers and migrants today. “Scientists don’t think much about who is going to use these methods,” said Giorgio Ganis. “I always feel that people should be aware of the implications.”

In an era of fake news and falsehoods, it can be tempting to look for certainty in science. But lie detectors tend to surface at “pressure-cooker points” in politics, when governments lower their requirements for scientific rigour, said Balmer. In this environment, dubious new techniques could “slip neatly into the role the polygraph once played”, Alder predicts.

One day, improvements in artificial intelligence could find a reliable pattern for deception by scouring multiple sources of evidence, or more detailed scanning technologies could discover an unambiguous sign lurking in the brain. In the real world, however, practised falsehoods – the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the lies that form the core of our identity – complicate matters. “We have this tremendous capacity to believe our own lies,” Dan Ariely, a renowned behavioural psychologist at Duke University, said. “And once we believe our own lies, of course we don’t provide any signal of wrongdoing.”


Polygraphy (Lie Detection) Reviewer


1875 - The earliest attempt at a scientific approach to the development
of diagnostic instrumentation for lie detection, when the Italian
physiologist, Angelo Mosso (1846-1910), began studies of fear and its
influence on the heart and respiration. The fear of being detected was
considered an essential element of deception. Through his research
Mosso demonstrated that blood pressure, blood volume, and pulse
frequency changed depending on changes in emotions of a tested
subject. From records of pulsation, Mosso was able to distinguish
persons who were afraid from those who were tranquil.

1915 - the year Dr.Marston developed the discontinuous systolic blood
pressure test which would later become one component of the modern
polygraph.

1992 - the polygraph made its official entrance into the computer age.

1997 - considered the year of birth of lie detection in Ukraine.

18th Century - the era conducive to developing technical means of
detecting deception, subsequently named: lie detector, variograph,
polygraph, emotional stress monitor, deceptograph, to name a few.

African Tribes - have utilized their own method of detecting a guilty
person. While performing a special dance around a suspected individual,
a sorcerer intensely sniffed him. The "investigator" made a conclusion
whether the suspect committed the crime based upon the intensity of
his body odor.

Alexander R. Luria - (1902-1977) a Soviet neuropsychologist, who
initiated the research on the psycho-physiological diagnostic
instrumentation methods in criminal investigations which began in
the 1920s. He used reaction time measures to study thought processes
and developed a psychodiagnostic procedure he referred to as the
"combined motor method" for diagnosing individual subject's thought
processes. He did not use an instrument in his study.

Ancient Methods of Lie Detection

Ancient Rome - bodyguard candidates were asked provocative
questions. Those who blushed were selected for the job. It was
believed that if a person blushed in response to provocative
questions, he would not participate in plots.

Ancient Sparta - Before being admitted to certain schools Spartan
young men were required to pass the selection criteria. The
young men were ordered to stand on the edge of a cliff, and were
asked if they were afraid. The answer was always negative
however its integrity was determined by the men’s complexion.
It was concluded that the pale young men lied and they were
pushed from the cliff.

Nervous Behavior - if the subject look down and moved his toe
in a circular motion while being interrogated, he was thought
to be deceptive. This was later diagnosed as nervous behaviorism.
Nervous individuals were stereotyped as being deceptive.

The Ordeal of Rice - was commonly utilized as a lie detector in
ancient China. Suspect was required to chew a mouthful of dry
rice and then spit it out. If the rice was moist, the suspect
was judged innocent. If the rice was dry, the suspect was judged
guilty. The tension of guilt supposedly caused a cessation of
salivary glands secretion of fluids.

The Ordeal of the Hot iron - in Africa, the suspect had a hot
iron placed on his tongue, if the suspect's tongue was not
burned, he was judged innocent, if the suspect's tongue was
burned, he was judged guilty. The tension of guilt supposedly
caused a cessation of salivary secretions which would allow the
tongue to be burned.

The Ordeal of the Sacred Donkey - around 1500 BC in India,
Indian priests paints a donkey's tail with carbon residue from
an oil lamp and placed the animal in a dark tent. The suspects
were sent into the tent and told that pulling the "magic"
donkey's tail would reveal the liar (if a guilty man pulls his
tail, the donkey will bray). When the suspects came out, the
priests examined their hands. Those with clean hands had not
touched the donkey's tail. It was assumed that this was due
to the suspects’ fear of their guilt being discovered, proving
they were liars.

Angelo Mosso - an Italian Physiologist, he used an instrument called
plethysmograph in his research on emotion and fear in subjects
undergoing questioning and he studied the effects of these variables
on their cardiovascular and respiratory activity.

Plethysmograph - from the Greek word "Plethysmos" - increase or
enlargement and "grapho" - write or record, is an instrument for
recording and measuring variation in the volume of a part of
the body, especially as caused by changes in blood pressure.

Anti–Climax Dampening - The principle of psychological focus which
holds that a person will establish an emotional priority for that
stimulus which he perceives to represent the greatest threat to his
well being.

Anxiety - A state of mental uneasiness or concern. Abnormal apprehension
or fear, often accompanied by psychological signs, behavior symptoms or
doubt concerning the nature and reality of a threat real or imagined.
Unfounded self–doubt.

Apnea - The transient cessation of breathing which follows forced
breathing. On a polygraph chart, apnea is generally represented by
a blocking pattern in the pneumograph tracing.

Applied Stimulus - An intentionally applied external stimulus,
normally in the form of a question, directed to a person under going
a polygraph examination. An applied stimulus may be employed for the
purpose of demonstrating a persons response capabilities at the time
the stimulus is applied.

Associated Research Inc. - in Chicago, manufactured the 1st commercial
polygraph instrument for Leonarde Keeler.

Autonomic Nervous System - That part of the peripheral nervous system
consisting of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Axon - The central core which forms the essential conducting part of
a nerve fiber. An extension from and a part of the cytoplasm of some
nerve cells.

Backster Zone Comparison Technique - a polygraph technique which
primarily involved an alteration of the Reid question sequencing.

Basic Polygraph Examination Requirements
1. The Examining Room - Polygraph examinations should be conducted in
a quiet. private room. Under normal circumstances only the
polygraphist and examines are permitted in the examining room.
2. Pre-Test Interview - The examination actually begins with the first
contact between the examinee and the polygraphist. The pre- test
interview is vital to a proper polygraph examination. and no
examination will be administered by any AzPa member without an
adequate pre-test interview.
3. Question Formulation - Question formulation should be conduced in
accordance with established standards and techniques. Unless
specifically required by the nature of the issue being resolved,
no questions regarding morals or the intimate details of a person’s
personal life will be asked.
4. Test Construction - The use and placement of test questions within
the question sequence must adhere to and be in accordance with
those techniques generally recognized and widely accepted within
the polygraph profession.
5. Stimulation Test - The “stim” test is optional. It may be
conducted either as the first polygraph chart or inserted between
polygraph charts. The fact that an individual has been previously
examined, perhaps even by the same polygraphist], does not negate
the use of the “stim” test.
6. Review of Test Questions - Under no circumstances will any test
be administered without a prior, thorough review of all test
questions with the examinee.
7. Administering The Polygraph Charts
a. After applying pressure to the blood pressure cuff at the
time of the test, the polygraphist should be able to announce
the beginning of the test with minimum delay.
b. Test questions should be usually spaced at not less than
15 second intervals.
c. The administering of the polygraph examination shall be
conducted in accordance with established standards and
techniques which are taught by the accredited schools.
8. Chart Interpretation - Chart interpretation is the final key to
a valid polygraph examination. Under no circumstances is it
permitted that a AzPa polygraphist overlook or ignore the
established, basic concepts of chart interpretation taught in
all accredited polygraph schools.

Behavior Symptoms - Those subjectively observable non-verbal
manifestations of a person at the time of an applied stimulus which
may or may not be indicative of that person’s veracity.

Blood Pressure Change - The visual representation of an increase or
decrease in blood pressure or volume on a polygraph chart by the
cardio component of a polygraph instrument.

Cardio-Sphygmo-graph - Heart/pressure/recording. The tracing on a
polygraph chart, made by a pen moved by a bellows device in connection
with a closed air pressurized circuit and an in-line
cardiosphygmomanometer, which reflects blood pressure and radial pulse
in response to an applied stimulus.

Cardiosphygmomanometer - An in-line pressure dial in a closed air
pressurized circuit capable of representing the pressure in that
circuit in units of millimeters of mercury.

Cardiovascular System - Those portions of an organism which contain
the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries. The functional means by
which blood is transported throughout the body.

Cerebellum - That portion of the brain which projects over the medulla
and is especially concerned with the coordination of muscular activity
and body equilibrium.

Cerebrum - The enlarged front and upper part of the brain which contains
the higher nervous centers.

Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was the first in 1895 to experiment with a
device, measuring blood pressure and pulse, to detect deception in
criminal suspects and noted increased blood pressure following
relevant questions when put to some subjects. He called it a
Hydrosphygmograph.

Chart - The graphic recorded representations of a persons
psychophysiological responses to a set of carefully controlled
stimuli presented to him in the form of a valid and reliable question
structure.

Christian Hans Stoelting - founded the stoelting company, now a
Manufacturer and distributor of research instrumentation including
physiology and biofeedback for scientific research plus psychological
and educational tests.

Stoelting Company - Stoelting invented the first modern
polygraph in 1935.

Chart Identification - Any information placed on a polygram which
identified the person examined, the polygraphist conducting the
examination as well as any other data, time and place of the
examination, including the signature of the examinee, if obtainable.

Cleve Backster - he founded the CIA's polygraph unit shortly after
World War II. He also founded the longest running polygraph school
in the world. He developed the Backster Zone Comparison Technique
(ZCT).

Control Stimulation Test - A modified peak of tension test used to
relax the non-deceptive examinee and stimulate the deceptive examinee
by empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the polygraph technique.

Control Question - That question within a structured technique which
is broad in scope and depth, generally limited by mutually exclusive
time parameter, which relates to a wrong doing of the same general
nature as the one under investigation, and one to which the examiner
will, in all probability, lie or to which his answer will be of
dubious validity in his own mind.
- A question to which the examinee’s answer will be a known lie
or a probable lie. This question is similar in nature but not related
to the issue being resolved, and should be of slightly less weight
than the relevant questions.

Control Question Technique (CQT) - a polygraph technique that
incorporated control questions (comparison) which were designed to be
emotionally arousing for non-deceptive subjects and less emotionally
arousing for deceptive subjects than the relevant questions
previously used.

Counter Measures - Deliberate chemical, mental or physical, attempts
by an examinee to affect the polygraph tracings or the final outcome
of a polygraph examination.

Cuff pressure - The air pressure in the inflatable bladder in the
blood pressure cuff as indicated on the sphygmomanometer of the
polygraph instrument in units of millimeters of mercury.

Daniel Defoe - a British novelist who in 1730 wrote an essay entitled
"An Effectual Scheme for the Immediate Preventing of Street Robberies
and Suppressing all Other Disorders of the Night", wherein he
recommended that taking the pulse of a suspicious fellow was a
practical, effective and humane method for distinguishing truthfulness
from lying.

Deception - the act of making someone believe something that is
not true.

Dendrites - An extension or process of a neuron which serves to conduct
impulses toward the cell body.

Dick Arther - refined the Reid Control Question Technique with his
known Lie and Probable Lie Question Technique and the Guilt Complex
Question. This Became known as Arther's Technique.

Dicrotic Notch - graphic representation within the cardio tracing on
a polygraph chart caused by a backward surge of blood against the
semi-lunar valve in the left ventricle of the heart.

Distortion - change in polygraph tracings caused by artifact stimulus.
A disturbance of normal polygraph tracings not attributable to an
intended stimulus within a test structure.

Dr. Joseph F. Kubis - of Fordham University in New York City, was the
first researcher to use potential computer applications for the
purpose of polygraph chart analysis in the late 1970's.

Dr. Marie Gabriel Romain Vigouroux (1831-1911) a French electrotherapy
specialist was first to discover in 1879 the phenomenon we now know
as Electrodermal Response.

Electrodermal Response - human body phenomenon in which the body,
mainly the skin, involuntarily changes resistance electrically
upon the application of certain external stimuli.

Scientists Who Contributed to the electrodermal response research
1. Ivan R. Tarchanoff (1846-1908) Georgian
2. Charles Samson Fere (1852-1907) French
3. Georg Sticker (1860-1960) German
4. Otto Veraguth (1870-1944) Swiss

Dyspena - Abnormal breathing characterized by either labored breathing,
shortness of breath, suppression or serrated exhalation.

Efferent Nerve Fibers - Those neural fibers which carry impulses away
from the central nervous system.

Ego Defense Mechanism - Those psychological defenses used by a person
to shield himself against that which he perceives to represent a
threat to his immediate well-being.

Endocrine Glands - Those ductless glands which discharge their
secretions directly into the blood stream. In general, the endocrine
glands coordinate and control body activities at a slower rate than
the nervous system and thus promote long term adjustments.

Enveloping Question - A question used at the beginning and end of a
searching peak of tension test which deals with an issue or subject
which is beyond the realm of possibility of the information being
sought.

Eupnea - Regular or normal breathing.

Examinee - An individual who has volunteered for and undergoes a
polygraph examination.

Excitability - The potential ability of a neuron to respond to any
given stimulus.

Expert Opinion - A statement reflecting the results of the evaluation
of a polygraph chart.

Extrasystole - A premature contraction of the heart which is
independent of the normal rhythm and which arises in response to an
impulse in some part of the heart other than the sino-auricular node,
or from some abnormal stimulus. An extra systole appears in the cardio
tracing of a polygraph chart as a break in the normal rhythm of
the heart.

Fight or Flight Syndrome - The activation of involuntary sympathetic
neural activity upon conscious recognition of a threat to the
immediate well-being of an organism. A group of neural symptoms which
enable an organism to cope with a stressful or threatening situation
by taking that organism from a normal relaxed state to an emergency
state of preparedness for the sake of survival.

Forensic Psychophysiology - Modern term for polygraph examination.

Galvanograph - elecrtrical Current recording, known as the GSR, galvanic
skin response and galvanic skin conductance.

Galvanometer - measures the small differences in electrical
resistance and any shifts in a subject’s anxiety.

Ganglia - Groups of nerve cell bodies found in the autonomic plexuses
composed primarily of sympathetic postganglionic neurons.

Guilt Complex - A group of associated ideas or attitudes which have a
common emotional tone of feelings of universal responsibility. these
ideas or attitudes may be conscious or unconscious however, they
may significantly influence an individuals behavior or
psychophysiological responses when confronted with an accusation.

Guilt Complex Question - A question included in a structured
polygraph test designed to identify a person who may be
inappropriately responding to relevant and control questions
due to a guilt complex. This question is usually one which
concerns a nonexistent crime or circumstance which an examinee
is led to believe did exist in which he is suspect but which
he knows he could not have committed.

Guilt Complex Question - A question about a fictitious incident
of individual. and of a similar nature and weight as the issue
being resolved.

Sticker - one of the first to suggest the use of EDA, galvanic
skin response as an indicator of deception.

Hidden Key - An item of evidence known only to the victim, perpetrator,
investigator and polygraphist.

Homestasis - The tendency of an organism to maintain a state of
equilibrium between interrelated psychological and psysiological stimuli.

Hydrosphygmograph - (water pressure recording) a device consisting
of a cylinder containing water and connected with a registering tube,
used to record the amount of blood forced with each pulsation into a
limb in cased in the apparatus.

Hypnosis - alteration of consciousness and concentration, subject
manifest heightened suggestability, not admissible in court.

Hypothalamus - That portion of the brain which contains centers for
the regulation of body temperatures, sleep and water balance. It
also appears to be the center for the integration of emotions,
visceral activity and neural impulses which trigger the sympathetic
division of the autonomic nervous system.

Irrelevant Question - is intended to be an innocuous. harmless
question, having no particular relationship to the issue being
resolved and which can unequivocally be answered truthfully.

Primary Relevant Question - The key question regarding the direct
act of committing an offense.

Secondary Relevant Question - A question pertaining to pertinent
aspects of the issue. to which a guilty or knowledgeable person
would be expected to respond significantly.

Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval (June 8,1851–December 31,1940) was a French
physician, physicist, and inventor of the moving-coil D'Arsonval
galvanometer and the thermocouple ammeter. D'Arsonval was an important
contributor to the emerging field of electrophysiology, the study of
the effects of electricity on biological organisms, in the
19th century.

John Augustus Larson - was a Police Officer for Berkeley, California,
United States, and famous for his invention of modern polygraph used
in forensic investigations. He was the first American police officer
having an academic doctorate and to use polygraph in criminal
investigations.

John E. Reid - a lawyer from Chicago, Illinois, developed the Control
Question Technique (CQT) in 1947. Also called the "father of Controls".

Reid Control Question Technique - inserted a surprise control
question in the relevant/irrelevant technique.

Keeler Polygraph - It became the most widely used polygraph in the
world for the next three decades.

Known Peak of Tension Test - This is a series of similar type questions
containing only one relevant question. known to the polygraphist.

Searching Peak of Tension Test - A series of questions wherein
the relevant questions are not known to the polygraphist.

Kymograph - An instrument for recording variations in pressure, as
of the blood, or in tension, as of a muscle, by means of a pen or
stylus that marks a rotating drum at a constant speed.

Lafayette Instrument Company - founded in 1947 by Max Wastl
(1915-1990), located in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, dominates the
international polygraph market. It is the unconditional global leader
in the manufacture and sale of lie detectors.

Leonarde Keeler - in 1926, modified the polygraph instrument designed
by John Larson by adding a device that measured electrical skin
conductivity or electrodermal response. He also founded the world's
first polygraph school, the Keeler Polygraph Institute in Chicago,
Illinois in 1948. Considered the father of modern polygraph.

Lie - is an intentionally false statement to a person or group made
by another person or group who knows it is not wholly the truth.

Kinds of Lie
1. White or Benign Lie - lie to preserve harmony of relationship.
2. Pathological Lie - can not tell right from wrong.
3. Red Lie - communist propaganda
4. Black Lie - lie to dishonor or to discredit
5. Malicious/Judicial Lie -misleading or lie to obstruct justice.
6. Fabrication - misrepresentation of truth
7. Bold-Face Lie - obviously lying
8. Lying by Omission - omission of important facts
9. Lie to Children - to gain acceptance to children
10.Noble Lie - to maintain law and order
11.Emergency Lie - to prevent harm to third party
12.Perjury - false testimony under oath
13.Bluffing - pretense of capability/intention one does not possess
14.Jocose Lie - meant to be jest, teasing and sarcasm
15.Contextual lie - stating part of truth out of context
16.Promotion lie - incredible advertisements

Type of Liars
1. Panic Liars
2. Occupational Liars
3. Tournament Liars
4. Psychopathic Liars
5. Ethological Liars
6. Pathological Liars
7. Black Liars

Luigi Galvani - an Italian Physician and Physiologist who in 1791,
accidentally discovered that a dissected frog leg would twitch and
contract at the touch of a scalpel charged with electricity. He
discovered that current or galvanic electricity flowed through animal
tissue.

Mechanical Adjustment - The manual centering of the ink pens on a
polygraph instrument in order to maintain the individual component
tracings within their appropriate physical parameters.

Medula Oblongata - The lowest or hindmost part of the brain continuous
with the spinal cord. Contains centers of respiratory, cardio inhibitory,
cardio acceleratory, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator, swallowing, salivary
and vomiting.

Midbrain - The middle segment of the brain containing the centers for
certain visual and auditory reflexes.

Middle Ages - a suspect's pulse rate readings were collected for
determining his or her guilt. This method was employed for exposing
unfaithful wives and their lovers. The testing technique was very
simple. A trained individual placed a finger on a wrist of a woman
suspected of infidelity, while mentioning names of the men, who could
have had an intimate relationship with her. The examinee's pulse
accelerated when she heard and, consequently, reacted to the name
of her lover.

Name Test - A controlled peak of tension test utilized to establish
an examinee’s response capability to a known lie in which the name
of a person upon whom the examinee places emotional significance is
used as a known peak of tension.

Nerves - Those strands of tissue which specialize in the transmission
of impulses to and from the brain and spinal cord and all parts of
the body.

Neuron - A single nerve cell.

Neutral Question - A question which does not pertain to the issue under
investigation the answer to which recognized as universally correct
by both the examinee and the polygraphist. A neutral question is
intended to elicit a minimal response from the examinee and provide
the polygraphist with a valid graphic representation of the
examinee’s non-stress response patterns.

Numerical Evaluation - A valid and reliable system of numerical
evaluation which employs a consistent set of values to describe the
observable physiological responses graphically represented on a
polygraph chart.

Opinion - The expert conclusion expressed by a qualified polygraphist
concerning the veracity of the statements made by examinee.

Otto Veraguth - was a Swiss neurologist. In the 1900s he published a
study of a phenomenon he called "psychogalvanic reflex" associated
with observed changes in the electrical properties of the skin. In
his research he noticed that emotional stimuli caused greater
deflections (higher readings) on a galvanometer that was connected
to the skin via electrodes than did neutral stimuli. He used the
galvanomenter in conjunction with word-association tests.

Psychogalvanic Reflex - also called galvanic skin response, a
change in the electrical properties of the body following noxious
stimulation, stimulation that produces emotional reaction and to
some extent, stimulation that attracts the subject's attention
and leads to an aroused alertness.

Outside Issue - A circumstance unrelated to the primary issue which
poses a greater threat to the immediate well-being of the examinee
than does the primary relevant issue.

Padding Questions - Those questions placed before and after the known
relevant question in a known peak of tension test. Padding questions
are similar in nature to the known relevant question and fall within
the realm of possibility of the information being sought.

Parasysmpathetic Nervous System - That part of the autonomic nervous
system which tends to induce secretion, to increase the tone and
contractibility of smooth muscle and to channel the dilation of
blood vessels. That division of the autonomic nervous system
responsible for the normal “house keeping functions of the body
i.e. digestion and body temperature.

Peripheral Nervous System - That portion of the nervous system lying
outside the central nervous system.

Plethsysmograph - The tracing on a polygraph chart made by a pen moved
by a photo-optical system controlled by an examinee’s
psychophysiological responses to controlled stimuli.

Pneumograph — breathing/recording, from the Greek word "Pneuma" - air
or breath and "Grapho" - write or record, a device that recorded a
subject's breathing patterns.

Polygram - One or more polygraph charts. The cumulative recorded
representations of an examinee’s psychophysiological responses to a
set of controlled stimuli presented to him in the form of a properly
constructed question technique upon which an expert opinion is formed.

Polygraph - a machine designed to detect and record changes in
physiological characteristics, such as a person's pulse and breathing
rates, used especially as a lie detector.

Polygraph Machine Measure and Record the ff:
1. Blood Pressure
2. Heart Rate
3. Respiration
4. Skin Conductivity

Polygraphist - An individual who, by virtue of his education, training
and experience, is capable of conducting a valid and reliable
polygraph examination for the purpose of determining whether or not
an examinee honestly believes that his own statements and answers
concerning a questioned issue are in fact truthful.

Polygraph Examination - The entire environment within which a
qualified polygraphist renders an expert opinion as to the veracity
of an examinee’s statements concerning the primary issue of the
matter under investigation.

Polygraph Examiner - interpret the charts generated by the polygraph
machine. Polygraph came from the Greek word "polys" - many writings
and "grapho" write.

Polygraph Chart - is one continuous set of test questions recorded on
paper by the polygraph instrument.

PolyScore - a software program which used a sophisticated mathematical
algorithm to analyze the polygraph data and to estimate a probability
or degree of deception or truthfulness in a subject.
- is a computerized polygraph chart scoring algorithm that uses
statistical probability to arrive at truthfulness or deception. It
has been shown that validated algorithms have exceeded 98 percent
in their accuracy to quantify, analyze and evaluate the physiological
data collected from polygraph examinations administered in real
criminal cases.

Dr. Dale E. Olsen and John C. Harris - statisticians at Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, in Maryland,
completed a software program called PolyScore in 1993.

Pons - A band of nerve fibers in the brain connecting the lobes of the
cerebellum, the medulla and the cerebrum.

Pre-Employment Examination - An examination in which an individual is
tested regarding the truthfulness and accuracy of an employment
application. along with other background areas, which aids the
employer in selecting the most qualified individual for a position
within the organization.

Pre-Examination Interview - That portion of a polygraph examination
during which information is obtained by the polygraphist from the
examinee regarding the facts and circumstances which from the basis
of the examination and from which the polygraphist develops
appropriate questions for the polygraph technique to be employed.

Psychogalvanic Skin Response - The recordable changes of body tissue
polarization (neural discharge), sweat gland activity or circulatory
variations which occur as the result of work, emotion or a combination
of either. In polygraphy, these changes are recorded on a polygraph
chart by a pen attached to a galvanometer driven by the variations
of electrical conductivity introduced into a Wheatstone Bridge by
the body tissues of an examinee.

Psychogalvanometer — a component that measured changes in a subject's
galvanic skin resistance during questioning, and in doing so, thus
signaling the birth of the polygraph as we know it today.

Psychological Set - The theory which holds that a person’s fears,
anxieties and apprehensions will be directed toward that situation
which presents the greatest immediate threat to his self-preservation
or general well-being generally to the exclusion of all other less
threatening circumstances within his environment.

Psychosis - A form of sever personality disorder involving loss of
contact with reality, generally characterized by delusions and
hallucinations.

Question Spacing - The elapsed time (not less than 15 seconds) between
an answer given by an examinee and the following question asked by
the polygraphist during a polygraph test.

Receptors - Those specialized cells sensitive to incoming stimuli.

Reflex Action - The cumulative product of stimulus, receptor, afferent
nerve, connecting neuron, efferent nerve and effector action. A simple
reflex arc.

Refractory Period - That period of time in which a neuron is unable
to conduct an impulse.

Reid Polygraph - was the first instrument to use a movement sensor to
detect subject movement during the examination. Besides recording
blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and GSR, this new polygraph
recorded muscular activity in the forearms, thighs, and feet thanks
to metal bellows placed under the arms and seat of the polygraph
chair.

Relevant Question - That question within a structured polygraph test
which pertains directly to the matter under investigation.

Irrelevant Question - is intended to be an innocuous, harmless
question, having no particular relationship to the issue being
resolved. and which can unequivocally be answered truthfully.

Primary Relevant Question - The key question regarding the direct
act of committing an offense.

Secondary Relevant Question - A question pertaining to pertinent
aspects of the issue. to which a guilty or knowledgeable person
would be expected to respond significantly.

Control Question - A question to which the examinee’s answer will
be a known lie or a probable lie. This question is similar in
nature but not related to the issue being resolved, and should
be of slightly less weight than the relevant questions.

Guilt Complex Question - A question about a fictitious incident
of individual. and of a similar nature and weight as the issue
being resolved.

Relevant/Irrelevant (R/I) questioning - a mixture of questions relevant
to the crime (for example, Do you own a knife?) and irrelevant questions
are asked (for example, Are you twenty years old?). The basis for this
type of questioning was that an innocent person has a similar physiological
response to both types of questions, but a guilty person would react
more strongly to the crime-relevant questions.

Residual Air - That volume of air which remains in the lungs after the
deepest possible exhalation.

Sacrifice Relevant Question - A question used in the Zone comparison
Test designed for the intended to dissipate initial tension
anticipated by an examinee in response to the target issue.

Searching Peak Of Tension Test - a polygraph test in which a series
of questions, usually similar in nature and scope, are asked and in
which the answer to only one of them may evoke a response from the
examinee.

Screening Examination - is one in which, without any specific
allegation, an individual is examined to verify his/her honesty,
integrity and conduct as an employee.

Specific Examination - is one in which there is one specific issue to
be resolved, ex. theft, burglary, robbery murder, etc.

Sensor - Any attachment made to the human body for the purpose of
measuring and/or recording a psychophysiological response during a
polygraph test.

Specific Response - A deviation from an examinee’s normal state of
homeostasia as evidenced by the tracings on a polygraph chart.
Consideration must be given to overall chart interpretation with
emphasis on the nature of the questions asked, the sequential
position of the question within the structure used and the manner in
which the question was presented to the examinee.

Sphygmomanometer - or blood pressure meter (also referred to as a
sphygmometer) is a device used to measure blood pressure, composed of
an inflatable cuff to restrict blood flow, and a mercury or mechanical
manometer to measure the pressure.

Spot Analysis Technique - A system of chart interpretation whereby
analysis of response capability may be made at each location on a
polygraph chart wherein a relevant question is either preceded by
or followed by a control question.

Super Dampening - The principle of psychological focus which holds
that if a person considers an outside issue to be a greater threat
to his well-being than the main relevant issue, and that if he
anticipates an unreviewed question concerning this outside issue,
he may tune out all relevant and control questions by forcing his
psychological set on the outside issue. The presence of an outside
issue usually results in poor responses or no responses.

Stimulation Test - Verifies for the examiner that the examinee is
testable. and aids in convincing the examinee that the polygraph
instrument works, and will work on him.

Suppression - An involuntary reduction in the amplitude of the
pneumograph and cardiograph tracings in response to a stressful
stimulus.

Sympathetic Nervous System - That part of the autonomic nervous
system which tends to depress secretion, decrease the tone and
contractibility of muscle not under direct voluntary control, and
cause the contraction of blood vessels.

Symptomatic Question - A question contained within a structured
question technique which is designed to identify the presence of
an outside issue upon which a person may be focusing during the
course of a polygraph examination.

Symptomatic Question - A question use to determine it some
outside issue is of such concern to the examinee that it
tends to damage expected responses to relevant questions.

Synapsis - The chemical junctions where nerve impulses pass from one
neuron to another.

System - A group of body organs which combine to form a whole and to
cooperate for the purpose of carrying on some vital function.

Test Technique - A valid and reliable question structure employed
by a qualified polygraphist for the purpose of verifying an
examinee’s statements or answers during a polygraph examination.
The sequential order in which questions are asked during a polygraph
examination. The foundation of expert opinion.

Thalamus - The middle part of the brain through which sensory
impulses pass to reach the cerebral cortex.

Tidal Volume - The volume of air moved in or out of the lungs with
each respiratory cycle.

Veraguth - was one of the first to make word-association tests with
the galvanometer.

Vittorio Benussi - an Italian Psychologist who in 1914 discovered a
method for calculating the quotient of the inhalation to exhalation
time as a means of verifying the truth and detecting deception in
a subject. Benussi measured and recorded breathing by means of an
instrument known as the Pneumograph. He concluded that lying caused
an emotional change within a subject that resulted in detectable
respiratory changes that were indicative of deception.

West Africa - persons suspected of a crime were made to hold and pass
a bird's egg to one another. The person breaking the egg was considered
guilty, based on the notion that his or her tremor-eliciting
nervousness was to blame.

Wheatstone Bridge - A specially devised electronic circuit for the
measurement of electrical resistance in a conductor. The conductor
of unknown resistance is included in the circuit with three known
resistances. when the unknown resistance (RX) is balanced with three
known resistances (R1, R2, R3) it can be calculated mathematically
since it becomes one term in a proportion.

William Moulton Marston - was an American psychologist and the creator
of the systolic blood pressure test, which became one component of
the modern polygraph invented by John Augustus Larson in Berkeley,
California.
- an American attorney and psychologist, is credited with
inventing an early form of the lie detector when, in 1915, he
developed the discontinuous systolic blood pressure test which would
later become one component of the modern polygraph.

Word Association Test - questions answerable by yes or no, concerned
with time of response. Quick answer, no relation to investigation.
Delayed answer, has relation to investigation.

Bigwas

Bigwas is a blog that's dedicated to bringing you high quality articles about criminology, government, law, and current events. This blog's main focus is criminology.


Deception detection: state of the art and future prospects.

A person who gives poison may be recognized. He does not answer questions, or they are evasive answers he speaks nonsense, rubs the great toe along the ground, and shivers his face is discolored he rubs the roots of the hair with his fingers and he tries by every means to leave the house .

The above citation, borrowed from Trovillo (1939, p. 849), shows that people's interest in detecting the deceptions of dangerous others is longstanding. Deception detection has also interested psychology and communication scholars, who have explored, among other topics, the liars' behavior, the detectors' strategies, and how to improve detection accuracy. In recent years, substantial advances have been made in the field. The goal of the current article is to briefly summarize some of these contributions, thus providing an updated (though necessarily incomplete because of space limitations) description of the state of the art in deception research. In the final section, some avenues for future research are outlined.

How people (try to) detect deception

Besides attesting to the longstanding nature of humans' preoccupation with deceit, the Ayur-Veda citation above also shows that three millennia ago people already believed that behavioral cues reveal deception. This belief has persisted throughout history, not only among lay people worldwide (Global Deception Research Team, 2006) but also among scientists, who have spent several decades trying to identify valid behavioral cues to deception (see Ekman, 2009 Vrij, 2008 Zuckerman, DePaulo, & Rosenthal, 1981). However, recent meta-analyses have indisputably revealed that people can hardly detect deception from the observation of behavior (Bond & DePaulo, 2006), that the connection between lying and nonverbal cues is weak, as well as under the influence of a host of moderator variables (DePaulo et al., 2003 Sporer & Schwandt, 2006, 2007), and that cue training to detect deception hardly improves accuracy (Hauch, Sporer, Michael, & Meissner, 2016).

In short, people are poor judges of veracity, and even though they strongly believe that behavioral cues reveal deception (and focus on such cues when trying to assess veracity see Bond, Howard, Hutchison, & Masip, 2013 Hartwig & Bond, 2011), meta-analytical evidence questions the utility of behavior as a source of deception markers.

Judgmental biases and the adaptive lie detector theory

A well-established finding in deception research is that lay people display a truth bias--that is, they tend to believe others are telling the truth rather than lying (Bond & DePaulo, 2006 Levine, Park, & McCornack, 1999). This bias is reduced or even reversed among practitioners whose job involves judging someone else's veracity, such as police officers (Masip, Alonso, Herrero, & Garrido, 2016 Meissner & Kassin, 2002).

The Adaptive Lie Detector Theory (ALIED Street, 2015), which aims at explaining how people judge veracity, can help understand these divergent tendencies. Because behavioral deception cues are weak, the senders' statements often contain little or no information indicative of veracity. According to ALIED, under those circumstances, people make an informed guess based on context-general information. The base rate of truthful or deceptive statements is a kind of context-general information. Most statements that lay people regularly encounter in their daily lives are truthful therefore, when they are uncertain about the veracity of a specific statement they tend to make truth judgments. However, practitioners such as police officers encounter deceptive messages more often than lay people therefore, they are less likely to assume truthfulness when they are uncertain.

A major conceptual contribution of ALIED is that the common view that truth- and lie-biases are irrational tendencies that limit judgmental accuracy is replaced with the alternative notion that receivers with no access to specific diagnostic cues make the rational decision to focus on the general context to make the best possible guess. ALIED has been empirically supported in experimental research where cue diagnosticity has been manipulated. The findings revealed that the less diagnostic the cues, the more the participants used context-general information (speci fically, the base-rates of lying) to assess veracity (Street, Bischof, Vadillo, & Kingstone, 2016).

Lie detection outside the laboratory

The above findings about people's poor lie-detection skills are mostly derived from laboratory experiments. In such experiments, observers are requested to make immediate judgments about the veracity of unacquainted senders' statements on the basis of behavioral information alone (which, as explained above, is poorly diagnostic of veracity). All these three elements make the task extremely challenging. Park, Levine, McCornack, Morrison, and Ferrara (2002) asked participants (college students) to recall a lie they had detected in the past and to describe how they had detected it. They found that outside the laboratory lies are typically detected from contextual rather than behavioral information. Contextual information involves aspects such as physical evidence, third-party information, the liar's confession, and inconsistencies with prior knowledge. Furthermore, Park et al. found that outside the laboratory lies are typically detected in familiar others and long after they have been told. It is therefore apparent that the low accuracy rates derived from laboratory experiments may not be generalized to real-life contexts.

The superiority of contextual information compared to behavioral cues when it comes to judging veracity has also been demonstrated in experimental research. Both Blair, Levine, and Shaw (2010) and Bond et al. (2013) found in a series of experiments that observers reached higher accuracy rates when contextual information was available to them than when they had to base their veracity judgments on behavioral cues only.

Park et al.'s (2002) finding that in real life lies are typically detected from contextual information was replicated by Masip and Herrero (2015) with both police officers and community members. They also found that the very same participants who reported having detected lies from contextual (rather than behavioral) information in the past listed a number of behavioral cues when asked to indicate "how lies can be detected". This finding suggests that the allure of behavioral cues is strong when it comes to judging veracity. Indeed, Bond et al. (2013) demonstrated that people may forego perfectly diagnostic contextual information to base their judgments on poorly diagnostic behavioral cues.

We can therefore speculate that in real life people also focus on behavioral cues when they try to detect deception. However, this strategy is futile. In contrast, contextual information, either actively searched for by a persistent suspicious receiver or accidentally stumbled upon by a candid one, is indeed much more revealing.

The so-called situational familiarity effect looks consistent with the notion that contextual information is a better indicator of truth or deception than behavioral cues. Indeed, the veracity judgments of receivers who are familiar with the situation are more accurate than those of receivers unfamiliar with the situation. Presumably, the former compare the sender's statement with their situational knowledge to assess plausibility (Reinhard, Sporer, Scharmach, & Marksteiner, 2011). However, Reinhard, Scharmach, and Sporer (2012) found that perceived (not necessarily actual) familiarity is enough for the effect to occur. Therefore, the situational familiarity effect is caused, at least in part, by factors other than the validity of contextual cues.

Recently, Levine (2014) proposed the Truth-default Theory (TDT). Rather than a unitary theory, TDT is a compilation of interrelated and logically coherent notions based on previous research. TDT provides a valuable framework to understand everyday life's deception and its detection. TDT's propositions, which are supported by empirical research (see Levine, 2014), are summarized in Table 1. Some of the notions expressed above (human's poor accuracy in judging veracity, their truth bias, the increased diagnostic value of contextual information relative to behavioral cues. ) are incorporated into TDT. Propositions 13 and 14 are related to the contents in the next section.

The evidence that behavioral cues to deception have little diagnostic value has led to a shift in deception research. Many researchers are no longer interested in chasing elusive deception cues spontaneously displayed by the liar--such cues are weak and volatile. Instead, researchers are interested in designing interview strategies oriented to produce behavioral differences between truth-tellers and liars. In recent years, a huge amount of work has been conducted towards this goal, mainly in the laboratories of Vrij (UK) and Granhag (Sweden). The focus of this research is applied, as its ultimate goal is to provide the law enforcement with lie detection tools to be used when questioning crime suspects (Vrij & Fisher, 2016 Vrij & Granhag, 2012 Vrij, Granhag, & Porter, 2010). Within this new perspective, the lie detector is no longer conceptualized as an observer who attentively but passively scrutinizes the sender's behavior, but as an interviewer who actively employs specific questioning approaches that can reveal deception.

These interview approaches need to be based on psychological differences between truth tellers and liars. For instance, Granhag, Hartwig, Mac Giolla, and Clemens (2015) argue that guilty suspects (liars) are unwilling to provide information to the police because this may expose them. Therefore, they will use avoidance strategies such as being elusive about their whereabouts, providing only vague details, or giving details the police cannot verify. When faced with the evidence, liars will use the escape strategy of denying that evidence. Conversely, innocent suspects (truth tellers) are eager to provide information because they feel this can help establish their innocence. When faced with some form of incriminating evidence, truth tellers will generally be willing to admit it because they believe "the truth will shine through" and that if they committed no crime they cannot be convicted because people get what they deserve (see Kassin & Norwick, 2004 Masip & Herrero, 2013).

Strategic Use of Evidence

These differences between truth tellers and liars can be exploited to detect deception. For example, when some kind of evidence is available interviewers can use the Strategic Use of Evidence (SUE) technique (e.g., Hartwig, Granhag, & Luke, 2014). Interviewers using the SUE technique question the suspect about their whereabouts while withholding the available incriminating evidence until the end of the interview--i.e., during the interview, the suspect is unaware of the evidence against him or her. Guilty suspects are expected to carefully avoid mentioning any potentially incriminating information, which will elicit statement-evidence inconsistencies. For instance, close-circuit-television footage shows the suspect was near the crime scene just before the crime occurred, but the suspect states s/he was somewhere else. Conversely, innocent suspects will feel that because they are innocent they have nothing to hide and nothing to fear, and will therefore be more honest and forthcoming. As a result, their statements will be more consistent with the evidence. A meta-analysis showed that the difference between liars and truth tellers in terms of statement-evidence inconsistencies was substantially larger when the SUE technique was used than when the evidence was disclosed early in the interview (Hartwig et al., 2014).

The guilty suspects' tendency to withhold information is also exploited in the verifiability approach (Nahari, Vrij, & Fisher, 2014a). Guilty suspects lying about their alibi, particularly if they are explicitly requested by the interviewer to be very detailed, may feel that if they provide little detail they may look deceptive. However, if they provide many details the police can check on these details and find out that the alibi is false. Liars may resolve this dilemma by providing unverifiable details. Conversely, truth tellers will provide more verifiable details than liars. Verifiable details involve the description of activities performed with or in the presence of other people the police may question, or in an area where the suspect believes there are surveillance cameras. They also involve admitting having performed activities that are regularly electronically recorded (e.g., using the credit card). Research has supported the notion that liars provide fewer verifiable details than truth tellers (e.g., Nahari et al., 2014a). Interestingly, this approach is immune to countermeasures even if liars are aware that they must provide verifiable details, only truth tellers are in a position to provide them. In fact, a study showed that instructing suspects to give verifiable details resulted in an increase of such details among truth tellers but not among liars (Nahari, Vrij, & Fisher, 2014b). Thus, the explicit request to include verifiable details in the account increases the difference (in terms of this kind of details) between liars and truth tellers, thus enhancing the differentiation power of this technique.

Cognitive load approaches

Liars and truth tellers can also differ in terms of cognitive effort. Vrij et al. (2010) argued that creating a lie might require more cognitive effort than just describing an episodic memory. Therefore, during an interview, the liars' cognitive load might be higher than the truth tellers'. If cognitive load is artificially increased further, this may result in liars showing visible signs of mental overload. Research has tested the impact of a number of cognitive-load-inducing strategies on both behavioral cues and detection accuracy. Such strategies involved asking interviewees to describe the events in the reverse (instead of chronological) order, conducting the interview in a foreign language, or asking interviewees to stare at the interviewer's eyes or to perform a secondary task during the interview (for an overview, see Vrij, Fisher, & Blank, 2017).

Two major reviews have been published recently on the effectiveness of such strategies, one focused on the cues elicited (Vrij, Fisher, Blank, Leal, & Mann, 2016) and the other one focused on detection accuracy (Vrij et al., 2017). In addition to explicit cognitive-load-inducing procedures, these reviews included two additional strategies: First, encouraging interviewees to say more. As argued above, liars will presumably be less willing than truth tellers to add details, and will have to invent such details, which is cognitively difficult. Second, asking unexpected questions. Liars prepare for the interview, but they can prepare the answers to only those questions they can anticipate. Inventing answers to unexpected questions is mentally taxing and may result in little detail, implausible information, and contradictions between the answers of different suspects interviewed separately (e.g., Vrij et al., 2016).

The cue review revealed that the percentage of cognitive cues that discriminated in the predicted direction when using a cognitive lie-detection approach (65% of the cues examined) was larger than the percentage of all kinds of cues that discriminated in either direction when using a "standard" interviewing approach (30%). More specifically, the cognitive approach elicited significantly more detail, plausibility and consistency cues than the "standard" approach (Vrij et al., 2016).

The accuracy meta-analysis revealed that accuracy in distinguishing between truths and lies was higher when using a cognitive approach (71% accuracy) than when using a "standard" approach (56% accuracy), both when humans made the veracity judgments and when the number of objective cues (e.g., number of details) were entered as predictors in statistical analyses that classified the statements as either truthful or deceptive (e.g., discriminant analyses). Interestingly, humans in these studies were not informed about the cues they had to use to make their judgments had they been informed, accuracy would probably have been even higher. Each of the three strategies (i.e., using cognitive-load-inducing procedures, asking interviewees to say more, and asking unexpected questions) boosted accuracy (Vrij, Fisher et al., 2017).

A number of concerns have been raised concerning cognitive lie-detection approaches. First, there are many circumstances where lying is not cognitively more taxing than truth telling (e.g., Blandon-Gitlin, Lopez, Masip, & Fenn, in press Burgoon, 2015 Sporer, 2016). Second, strong cognitive-load-inducing techniques can elicit visible indicators of overload not only among liars but also among truth tellers. The so-called TRI-Con (Time Restricted Integrity-Confirmation) interview addresses this issue. When using TRI-Con, interviewers prompt interviewees about the general topic of the forthcoming questions. However, the specific questions are not revealed until the time they are asked. Such prompts activate truthful memories in working memory, which facilitates truthful responding but makes it cognitively harder to deceive, as liars must inhibit the activated memory and replace it with a fabrication (Walczyk et al., 2012). Third, the limits of cognitive lie-detection approaches need to be explored. For example, these approaches may not work to detect lies about intentions (Fenn, McGuire, Langben, & Blandon-Gitlin, 2015) or with stigmatized groups of people (Fenn, Blandon-Gitlin, Pezdek, & Yoo, 2016). Finally, the theoretical background of these approaches is generally weak models specifying the specific cognitive mechanisms and processes involved in lying, which would allow for more precise and nuanced predictions, are needed (Blandon-Gitlin, Fenn, Masip, & Yoo, 2014 BlandonGitlin et al., in press for one such model, see Walczyk, Harris, Duck, & Mulay, 2014).

Systematic verbal lie detection approaches

Although behavioral cues are generally poor indicators of deception, meta-analyses show that verbal cues are more diagnostic than nonverbal cues (DePaulo et al., 2003 Hauch et al., 2016). Some systematic approaches have been developed to assess credibility from the verbal content of extended free-narrative statements, such as the reality monitoring (RM) approach (Sporer, 2004), and Criteria-based Content Analysis (CBCA Steller & Kohnken, 1989). Both are based on the notion that the verbal descriptions of self-experienced events differ from those of imagined or invented events.

According to the RM approach, relative to imagined or invented memories, actual autobiographical memories (and their verbal descriptions) contain more contextual (time, space. ), sensory, and semantic information, as well as fewer references to cognitive processes at the time of encoding. Reviews show that accuracy rates in separating truths (i.e., descriptions of memories of self-experienced events) from lies (inventions) with the RM verbal criteria are typically within the 60%-to-70% range (Masip, Sporer, Garrido, & Herrero, 2005 Vrij, 2008).

Criteria-based Content Analysis (CBCA)

CBCA emerged in forensic settings in Germany to separate between true and false allegations of child sexual abuse (Undeutsch, 1989). It contains 19 credibility criteria (Table 2 see, e.g., Raskin & Esplin, 1991 Steller & Kohnken, 1989, for criteria descriptions). CBCA experts assume that the more the criteria the child's statement contains (or the stronger the criteria), the more likely it describes a self-experienced event (see Volbert & Steller, 2014, for underlying theoretical premises). However, the absence of criteria should not be interpreted as indicative of deception (e.g., Raskin & Esplin, 1991).

CBCA is to be used within a more general assessment procedure, called Statement Validity Assessment (SVA), which systematically considers a number of alternative reasons for the child's allegation. SVA contains a semi-structured interview protocol to collect the child's account, considers the potential influence of a number of variables (cognitive or language limitations, suggestibility, etc.) on statement quality, and considers other sorts of information besides statement quality to make the credibility judgment (e.g., Raskin & Esplin, 1991). Several countries admit SVA/CBCA assessments in court in child sexual abuse cases.

Although CBCA was developed to assess the credibility of alleged child victims' statements of sexual abuse, research has explored its usefulness to differentiate between truthful and deceptive statements of adults in addition to children, witnesses and suspects in addition to victims, and events other than sexual abuse (see Table 5 in Hauch, Sporer, Masip, & Blandon-Gitlin, in press, for the characteristics of CBCA studies).

CBCA is a clinical assessment procedure rather than a standardized psychometric test. However, its reliability and validity are important if it is to be used in forensic practice (Hauch et al., in press). A meta-analysis on the inter-rater reliability of CBCA revealed that most criteria have sufficient to good reliability (although whether reliability is high enough for CBCA/SVA evidence to be admitted in court is open to discussion). However, as shown in Table 2, whereas reliability was consistently high for those criteria with straightforward definitions, it was poor for criteria with less clear definitions (e.g., Criteria 2 and 9). The latter criteria should be used with great caution. Proportion agreement showed the highest reliability values because, unlike other reliability coefficients, it does not correct for chance agreement. Base rates (i.e., the relative presence of each criterion in statements) influenced criterion reliability (see Hauch et al.'s in-press report for detail).

All meta-analytical estimates were very heterogeneous. Moderator analyses for Pearson's r revealed that reliability was higher in field studies and quasi-experiments than in laboratory settings. Note, however, that in all kinds of studies in this meta-analysis raters had been carefully trained (background literature reading, lectures, examples, practice with discussion and feedback, sometimes homework. ) for many hours (for half the studies reporting training duration, the training lasted more than 8.75 hs average training duration was 23 hs, SD = 40). Conversely, in non-research field settings raters can differ greatly in terms of training. This suggests the current estimates represent the upper reliability limits that can be achieved (Hauch et al., in press). The same considerations can be made concerning validity.

Hauch et al. (in press) suggest that CBCA experts testifying in court should include reliability estimates in their reports. Also, if several blind experts code different sections of the case statements, interrater reliability for a single case can be calculated and reported in court by the expert called to testify (Hauch et al., in press).

Concerning the CBCA validity, two meta-analyses have been published recently on the topic, one focused on children's reports (Amado, Arce, & Farina, 2015), and one on adults' reports (Amado, Arce, Farina, & Vilarino, 2016). All criteria significantly differentiated between truthful and deceptive statements of children, though (a) most effect sizes were small according to Cohen's (1988) guidelines (Table 2), and (b) for twelve criteria, effect sizes were not generalizable because of low inter-rater reliability (see the original report for effect sizes corrected for criterion unreliability and the associated credibility intervals). Similarly, all CBCA criteria but self-deprecation and pardoning the perpetrator significantly differentiated between truthful and deceptive accounts of adult participants however, except for the general characteristics criteria set, effect sizes were small (Table 2). For adults, effect sizes were not generalizable (see original report).

The effect size for the total CBCA score was larger for children's accounts than it was for adults' accounts. Further, among children, it was substantially larger for field (d = 2.40) than for experimental studies (d = 0.50). However, as argued by Hauch et al. (in press), sum scores are problematic because (a) they make sense only if the different criteria measure a unidimensional construct, (b) validity differs across criteria, and (c) under certain circumstances, some CBCA criteria should weight more strongly than others.

Amado et al. (2016) also found that the average effect size across criteria (for adult participants) was larger in field studies (d = 0.34), particularly if they focused on sexual abuse or intimate partner violence (d = 0.67), than in experiments (d = 0.25). Surprisingly, the average effect size was larger for witnessed than for self-experienced events.

Overall, the general-characteristics criteria set appears to be the most valid, and the motivational set the least valid. Criteria 4 and 19 seem to discriminate very well with children, but not with adults. In general terms, CBCA as a whole seems to work better with children than with adults. It should be stressed, however, that CBCA must be used within the SVA framework, and that intensive training in clinical psychology and psychological assessment is essential to properly understand and to be able to use CBCA and SVA (see Hauch et al., in press).

Oberlander et al. (2016) meta-analyzed the validity of both RM and CBCA. Rather than looking at individual criteria, they focused on the final credibility judgments made on the basis of either sum scores, statistical decisions, or the rater's personal decision. The overall effect size was g = 1.03, which is large and was significant. Assuming equal sensitivity and specificity, it would result in 70% of truths and 70 % of lies correctly detected (Oberlander et al., 2016). RM showed higher validity (g = 1.26) than CBCA (g = 0.97), but the difference was not significant. The full set of CBCA criteria permitted better discrimination than incomplete sets. Effect sizes did not differ across field and laboratory studies or for self-experienced vs. observed events these null effects are at odds with Amado et al.'s (2015, 2016) findings for CBCA.

Psychophysiological detection of deception

Attempts were also made from ancient times to detect deception from the suspect's physiological reactions. The Ayur-Veda citation above refers to shivering and pallor, and Trovillo (1939) explains how the Greek physician Erasistratus (300-250 B.C.) was able to find out that Prince Antiochus of Syria was secretly in love with his young stepmother Stratonice by feeling his pulse. Some old lie-detection methods were based on the assumption that lying elicits fear, and reflect some understanding of physiology. For instance, in ancient China and India, crime suspects were given rice to chew if they could not spit it out they were considered guilty. This ordeal reflects the observation that high stress reduces salivation (Kleinmuntz & Szucko, 1984).

Psychophysiological lie detection received a push in the 1920s. There was at the time a climate of reform towards police professionalization in the US that involved the adoption of scientific methods and procedures by the law enforcement (see Leo, 2009). In this context, Marston, Larson, and Keeler made innovations to record the suspect's heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductance during questioning to assess the suspect's truthfulness (Alder, 2007 Bunn, 2012 Lykken, 1998). This was the beginning of polygraphic lie detection. More recently, electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have also been tested as lie-detection procedures (e.g., Verschuere, Ben-Shakhar, & Meijer, 2011).

The two lie detection tests that have received most attention are the Comparison Question Test (CQT) and the Concealed Information Test (CIT). The CQT is used by the law enforcement in several countries around the world. Conversely, the CIT is rarely used in applied settings except in Japan, where it is ordinarily employed by the police (Ogawa, Matsuda, Tsuneoka, & Verschuere, 2015).

During a CQT the examinee is asked a series of irrelevant (e.g., "Is today Tuesday?"), relevant (e.g., "Did you murder Miss Smith?") and comparison questions (e.g., "During the first 20 years of your life, did you ever hurt anyone?"). The examinee is instructed to respond "no" to comparison questions, but because they are deliberately vague and remote, the examinee is uncertain about the truthfulness of that response. The examinee is told that evidence of deception when responding to comparison questions would suggest s/he is the kind of person who could have committed the crime under investigation (e.g., Vrij, 2008). Guilty examinees are assumed to be more concerned by relevant than by comparison questions therefore, they are expected to display the strongest physiological responding just after the relevant questions. Conversely, innocent examinees are expected to be more concerned by--and, hence, to react more strongly to--comparison than to relevant questions (e.g., Raskin, 1989). Iacono and Lykken (1997) conducted mail surveys on (a) members of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR), and (b) fellows of Division 1 (General Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Most respondents believed the CQT is not based on any scientifically sound psychological principle or theory.

The CIT differs in many respects from the CQT. During a CIT, the examinee is asked a series of multiple-choice questions (e.g, "Which was the weapon used to murder Miss Smith? Was it . a knife? . a gun? . a sword? . a baseball bat? . an axe? . an arrow?"). For each question, only one of the response options (which can be presented either verbally or in pictorial form) is correct. Only those examinees who have knowledge about the crime details will consistently show stronger physiological reactions to correct than to incorrect alternatives through (most of) the test. Of note, the CIT does not attempt to detect deception, but concealed knowledge. In fact, the CIT can be used by the police to uncover new information (Ogawa et al., 2015). Imagine a person is missing and the police believes she was murdered by her partner. The police could run a CQT asking the suspect about the location of the body. The response alternatives would all be plausible locations. After the test, the police could check whether the body is indeed at the location suggested by the test results.

Unlike the CQT, which is used only with peripheral measures, the CIT is also used with central or "brain" measures such as fMRI and event-related potentials (ERPs). The most studied ERP in deception research is called P300, and is a positive electroencephalographic wave that starts at about 300 ms after the onset of the stimulus eliciting it. P300 has been found to accompany the recognition of meaningful information (e.g., Iacono, 2015 Rosenfeld, 2011). The CIT is also used with so-called behavioral measures--that is, reaction time and errors is replying "yes" or "no", typically by pressing a specific key, after stimulus presentation. The CIT variant normally used with central and behavioral measures contains target, probe and irrelevant stimuli. Target and probe stimuli are presented only rarely (about 15% of the time each), whereas irrelevant stimuli are presented quite often (about 70% of the time). Targets (e.g., a facial picture of Miss Smith that was shown in the TV news the day after she was found dead) are known by both guilty and innocent examinees. During the test, all examinees admit they know targets by pressing the "yes" button. Because targets are known to all respondents, they will elicit physiological responding regardless of guilt. Probes (e.g., a picture of the weapon used to kill Miss Smith) are known by guilty but not by innocent examinees. All examinees press the "no" button when a probe is presented. However, because probes are meaningful for guilty (but not for innocent) suspects, guilty suspects will show physiological reactions when probes are presented. Finally, the frequent irrelevant stimuli are meaningless for all examinees regardless of guilt and will thus elicit no physiological responding. Note that for innocent examinees probes are the same as irrelevant as irrelevant stimuli, whereas for guilty examinees probes are the same as meaningful as target stimuli.

The pattern of physiological responding during a CIT can be caused by the orienting response (OR), which occurs when an organism encounters a novel and/or significant stimulus (MacKay-Brandt, 2011). The OR allows the organism to determine how to react. It increases skin conductance, decreases heart rate, interrupts respiration, and is thought to produce a P300 wave. Response inhibition (i.e., the suppression of the dominant truthful response) can also play a role during a CIT, as it is associated with a decrease in heart rate and respiration, an increase of the P300 amplitude, and the activation of certain brain areas recorded with fMRI (see reviews by Meijer, Verschuere, Gamer, Merckelbach, & Ben-Shakhar, 2016 Verschuere & Meijer, 2014). Most respondents of Iacono and Lykken's (1997) survey believed the CIT is based on scientifically sound psychological principles or theories.

Meijer and Verschuere (2015) presented an overview of available reviews examining the accuracy of the polygraph with both the CQT and the CIT. The top half of Table 3 displays the range of average sensitivity (accuracy in detecting lies or concealed information) and specificity (accuracy in detecting truths) reported in the reviews considered by Meijer and Verschuere. Note that because of the way field studies are conducted, accuracy rates for CQT field studies might be inflated (see Bull et al., 2004 Iacono, 1995). Also, only two individual CIT field studies were available for inclusion in Meijer and Verschuere's (2015) overview. Notwithstanding these issues, it is apparent from Table 3 that the CQT does a better job in detecting liars than truth tellers.

Apparently, relevant questions are perceived as more threatening not only by guilty examinees but also by some innocent ones. Conversely, the CIT performs better with innocent than with guilty examinees. Apparently, some guilty individuals do not encode--or have forgotten at the time of the test--certain details about the event that are later probed during the test.

In a review of 16 CIT studies measuring ERPs, Terol, Alvarez, Melgar, and Manzanero (2014) found the average accuracy rates displayed in the corresponding rows in Table 3. Before concluding that sensitivity is comparatively small, it is important to keep in mind that the authors included in their review several studies where guilty participants successfully tried to beat the test. It appears from these figures that ERPs, which are central measures, yield classification rates very similar to those obtained with a polygraph (but see a recent experiment conducted by Langleben et al., 2016, that challenges this conclusion).

Ganis (2015) reviewed ten fMRI studies in which the brain areas activated during deception were mapped and then an attempt was made to identify individual liars and truth tellers on the basis of their activation in these areas. Again, as shown in the bottom rows in Table 3, classification rates obtained with this sophisticated, cutting-edge brain imaging technology do not seem superior to those obtained with the old-fashioned polygraph.

Finally, in a recent meta-analysis Suchotzki, Verschuere, Van Bockstaele, Ben-Shakhar, and Crombez (2017) found an effect size d = 1.297 for the reaction time (RT) difference between truths and lies using the CIT. After calculating Rosenthal and Rubin's (1982 see also Fritz, Morris, & Richler, 2012) binomial effect size display (which assumes equal sensitivity and specificity) it becomes apparent that RT measures would result in 77% of truths and lies correctly identified.

Differential activation is a continuum, and examiners use somewhat arbitrary cutoff points on that continuum to categorize examinees as a truth tellers or liars. The percentage of liars (or truth tellers) correctly identified depends on the specific location of the cutoff point on the continuum. To calculate accuracy independently of specific cutoff points, some researchers turned to Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves. A ROC curve graphically displays all possible combinations of true positives (sensitivity), true negatives (specificity), false positives (truth tellers misclassified as liars), and false negatives (liars misclassified as truth tellers). Accuracy can be represented as a single value, namely the area under the ROC curve (AUC). An AUC = .50 represents chance accuracy, whereas an AUC = 1.00 denotes perfect accuracy (see Swets, Dawes, & Monahan, 2000, for detailed and clear information about ROC curves). Table 4 displays average and median AUC values for different measures reported in several meta-analyses (see Meijer et al., 2016). It is clear that, as stressed by Meijer et al. (2016), figures are very similar for peripheral, central, and behavioral measures. The AUC for fMRI appears to be higher, but Meijer et al. noted that this value is estimated from only four studies with few participants, and that because none of the studies used cross validation this figure might be an overestimation.

Properly trained examinees can beat the polygraph test by using either physical (e.g., pressing one's toes to the floor) or mental (e.g., performing mental calculations) countermeasures (see Honts, 2014, for a recent review). Test sensitivity will decrease if examinees successfully increase their physiological responding to comparison questions (CQT) or irrelevant response alternatives (CIT), and/or if they successfully decrease their responding to relevant questions (CQT) or response alternatives (CIT). Countermeasure-detection techniques, such as movement sensors to be placed in the chair, have been developed by the polygraph industry, but research is lacking examining their effectiveness (Honts, 2014).

An argument for the replacement of the traditional polygraph (which measures peripheral responses) with ERPs or fMRI (which measure central nervous system activity) is that the latter measures are not amenable to conscious manipulation by the examinees (e.g., Iacono, 2015). This argument is fallacious. ERP studies have shown that examinees can learn to use specific strategies that decrease the test sensibility substantially (e.g., Rosenfeld, Soskins, Bosh, & Ryan, 2004). Rosenfeld's research group designed a new ERP-based lie-detection test to overcome this problem (Rosenfeld, Hu, Labkovsky, Meixner, & Winograd, 2013). Regarding fMRI, in a study conducted by Ganis, Rosenfeld, Meixner, Kievit, and Schendan (2011) sensitivity decreased from 100% to only 33% after the participants used a very simple physical countermeasure--although its use could be detected in the fMRI images.

The relative sensitivity and specificity of the polygraph depends on whether the examiner uses the CQT or the CIT. Central measures (which are normally employed with the CIT) do not permit better discrimination than either peripheral or behavioral measures, and are vulnerable to countermeasures.

Deception detection seems to be as much of a timely topic for the near future as it was back in the remote Ayur-Veda times. Space limitations made it impossible to discuss some emerging research topics that will presumably gain momentum in the near future. Specifically, current concerns about international terrorism and airport security have led researchers to investigate how to detect lies about future intentions (Granhag & Mac Giolla, 2014). The contemporary widespread use of communication technologies has led to the recent study of the influence of communication medium (face-to-face, phone, email, instant messaging. ) on how much, how, to whom, and about what people lie, as well as on deception cues and lie detection (e.g., Smith, Hancock, Reynolds, & Birnholtz, 2014). Technological developments also led researchers to examine whether linguistic deception cues can be identified with computers, but success has been limited (Hauch, Blandon-Gitlin, Masip, & Sporer, 2015). Computers can also integrate large amounts of information (e.g., scores on a number of verbal content criteria) to help humans judge credibility. For example, a procedure based on High Dimensional Visualization combining multidimensional scaling and virtual reality modelling has been quite successful in separating truthful from deceptive statements (e.g., Manzanero, Alemany, Recio, Vallet, & Aroztegui, 2015).

Recent theories such as ALIED and TDT make testable predictions and will surely spur research. TDT has empirical support but some of its propositions would benefit from replication, and new propositions can be added (Masip & Herrero, 2015 Van Swol, 2014). Little is known about how people (try to) detect lies outside laboratory settings inspired by TDT and the evidence reviewed in the relevant section above, we recently started an ambitious research program along this line.

Research on cognitive approaches to detect deception would benefit from stronger theoretical bases. A promising theory is Walczyk et al.'s (2014) Activation-Decision-ConstructionAction Theory, which also makes many testable predictions that will stimulate research (e.g., Masip, Blandon-Gitlin, de la Riva, & Herrero, 2016). Sporer (2016) also made valuable theoretical contributions. The boundary conditions within which novel interview approaches to detect deception work need to be explored (Fenn et al., 2015), including the liars' countermeasures (Luke, Hartwig, Shamash, & Granhag, 2016). Research has only started to examine how well practitioners can learn to use these new techniques (Vrij, Leal, Mann, Vernham, & Brankaert, 2015). Also, the application of such approaches to settings other than investigative interviewing needs to be explored (see Harvey, Vrij, Leal, Lafferty, & Nahari, 2017 Ormerod & Dando, 2014, for applications to insurance claims and airport contexts, respectively).

Systematic verbal credibility assessment approaches may benefit from testing new criteria and from high-quality field studies (which are rare) focusing on the kinds of cases forensic experts are called to testify about. Similarly, there are almost no field studies on the CIT. However, uncertainty concerning ground truth in real cases has always hampered field studies on deception detection, and will presumably continue to do so. The Japanese field use of the Searching-CIT (that allows for material corroboration of the test results) might allow researchers to conduct sound CIT studies in field settings. On the other hand, there are a number of aspects in the Japanese use of the CIT that differ from laboratory research (see Ogawa et al., 2015). The use of the polygraph in real criminal cases can have serious consequences for suspects therefore, there is urgent need to examine under controlled laboratory conditions the impact of these peculiar practices on the test results.

ERP and fMRI are relatively new approaches. Many issues remain unexplored, in particular concerning fMRI. Indeed, more countermeasure research is needed. Other brain-imaging technologies that might conceivably develop in the future will surely stimulate lie-detection research.

Finally, the cognitive and reasoning functioning of both people with mental health challenges and people with intellectual disability differs from that of other individuals. Surprisingly, little research has been conducted on the production and detection of their lies (see, e.g., Manzanero et al., 2015, for an exception).

To conclude, these are exciting times for deception researchers. Many potential new avenues of inquiry lie before us. Only time will tell where this applied area of scientific research will lead us in the future.

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Vrij, A., & Granhag, P.-A. (2012). Eliciting cues to deception and truth: What matters are the question asked. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 110-117.

Vrij, A., Granhag, P.-A., & Porter, S. (2010). Pitfalls and opportunities in nonverbal and verbal lie detection. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 11, 89-121.

Vrij, A., Leal, S., Mann, S., Vernham, Z., & Brankaert, F. (2015). Translating theory into practice: Evaluating a cognitive lie detection training workshop. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 4, 110-120.

Walczyk, J. J., Griffith, D. A., Yates, R., Visconte, S. R., Simoneaux, B., & Harris, L. L. (2012). Lie detection by inducing cognitive load. Eye movements and other cues to the false answers of "witnesses" to crimes. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 887-909.

Walczyk, J. J., Harris, L. L., Duck, T. K., & Mulay, F. (2014). A social-cognitive framework for understanding serious lies: Activation-decision-construction- action theory. New Ideas in Psychology, 34, 22-36.

Zuckerman, M., DePaulo, B. M., & Rosenthal, R. (1981). Verbal and nonverbal communication of deception. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 14, pp. 1-60). New York, NY: Academic Press.


Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt - History

The subject of Legal History comprises the growth, evolution and development Of the legal system of a country it sets forth the historical process where by a legal system has come to be what it is over.

Hindu Period: these period extents for nearly 1500 years before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The ancient India was divided into several independent states and the King was the supreme authority of each state. As far as the administration of justice is concerned the King was considered the fountain of justice. He was entrusted with the supreme authority of the administration of justice in his kingdom. The essential features of judicial system of this period were as follows:

A. Organization of Court Structure:

Following courts were exist during the ancient Hindu period:

The Kings court was the highest court of appeal in the state. It was also a court of original jurisdiction for cases of vital importance to the state. In Kings Court the King was advised by learned Brahmins, The Chief Justice and other judges, ministers, elders and representatives of the trading community.

The Chief Justice’s Court:

The Chief Justices Court which consisted of the Chief Justice and a board of judges to assist the Chief Justice. All the judges in the board belonged to three upper castes preferable Brahmins.

Sometimes separate tribunals with specified territorial jurisdiction used to be formed from among judges who were members of the board of the Chief Justice’s court.

D. Town or District Court:

In towns and districts courts were run by the government officials to administer justice under the authority of the king.

E. Village Council:

The local village councils or Kulani was constituted at village level .This councils consisted of a board of five or more members for administration of justice to villagers. The councils dealt with civil and criminal matters.

B. Judicial Procedure:

A. Stages of a Suit:-

A suit or trial consisted of four stages the plaint, the reply and investigation and finally the verdict or decision of the court.

B. Bench of more than one Judges:-

The courts were functioning on the principle that justice should not be administered by a single judge. Generally a bench of two or more judges would administer justice. Even the King decided cases in his council.

Appointment of Judges and Judicial Standard:-

In the appointment of the Chief Justice and other judges the question of caste consideration played vital role. The Chief Justice was mandatory appointed from Brahmins. A sudra was forbidden to be appointed as a judge. Appointments were made from among the persons who were highly qualified and learned in law. Women were not allowed to hold the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the oath of impartiality when deciding disputes between citizens.

D. Doctrine of Precedent:–

The decisions of the King’s court were binding on all lower courts. The principles of law declared by higher courts were taken into consideration by the lower courts while deciding cases.

During the course of proceeding both the parties were required to prove their case by producing evidence. Ordinarily, evidence was based on any or all the three sources, namely, documents, witnesses, and the possession of incriminating objects. In criminal cases, sometimes circumstantial evidence was sufficient to punish the criminal or acquit him.

C. Trial by Ordeal:

Ordeal which was a kind of custom based on religion and faith in God was a means of proof to determine the guilt of the person. The application of trial by ordeal was limited only to the cases where any concrete evidence on either side was not available. This system ordeal was very painful and dangerous to the accused, and sometimes the person giving ordeal died during the ordeal. Some common ordeals are described below:

Ordeal by Fire: According to the Hindu myth fire is considered to be God and it has purifying qualities. According to the ordeal of fire, the accused was directed to walk through or stand or sit in fire for some specified time. If the accused comes out from the fire without any harm, he was considered to innocent.

Sometime the accused was asked to carry a red hot iron ball in his hand and walk a few paces. If he had no signs of burns after the ordeal, he was considered to be innocent.

Ordeal by water: Water seen as a sign of purity under the Hindu mythology was used to test the guilt of the accused. The accused was required to stand in waist- deep water and then to sit down in the water, as an archer shot to an arrow. If the accused remained in the water during the time limit, he was held to be innocent,. Alternatively the accused was required to drink water used in bathing the idol. If he had no harmful effects within next fourteen days, he was declared to be innocent.

C. Ordeal by Poison:-

This method was also based on the view that God protects innocent people. The accused was required to drink poison without vomiting it. If he survived, he was declared to be innocent.

D. Ordeal by Rice- grains:-

The accused was required to chew un- husked rice and then asked to spit out. If blood appeared in his mouth, he was considered to be guilty, otherwise not.

E. Ordeal by Lot:-

Two lots of the same type representing Right (Dharma) and Wrong (Adharma) were placed in a jar. The accused was asked to draw a lot, if the accused drew Dharma he was declared innocent.

D. Trial by Jury:

The jury system existed in ancient India but not in the same from as understood in today’s world. There is evidence that the community members used to assist the administration of justice. They were merely examiners of the case of conflict and placed true facts before the judge though the verdict was declared by the presiding judge and by the jury.

E. crimes and punishments:

The philosophy of crime and punishment was based on the idea that the punishment removed impurities from the accused person and his character is reformed. Before punishment was to be awarded the judge had to consider the motive and nature of the offence, time and place, strength, age, conduct, learning and monetary position of the offender.

There were four methods of punishment- by gentle admonition, by severe reproof, by fine and by corporal punishment. These punishments could be inflicted separately or together depending upon the nature of the offence.

Judges always considered the relevant circumstances before deciding actual punishment. The severity of punishment depended on caste as well.

Certain classes of persons were exempted from punishment:-

  • Old people over eighty
  • Boys below sixteen
  • Women and persons suffering from diseases were to be given half of the normal punishment.
  • A child below five was considered to be immune from committing any crime and therefore was not liable to be punished.
  • In adultery and rape, punishment was awarded on the basis of the caste consideration of the offender and of the woman.
  • In abuse or contempt case every care was taken to see that each higher caste got due respect from persons of lower caste.

For example:- If a person of a lower caste set with a person of higher cast, the man of the lower caste was to be branded on the breech. For committing murder the murder was to pay 1000 cows for killing a Kshatriya, 100 for a Vaisyo and 10 for a Sudra. These cows were given to the King to be delivered to the relatives of the murdered person. A bull was given to the King as a fine for murder.

If a Brahmin was killed a person of lower caste, the murderer would be put to death and his property confiscated.

If a Brahmin was killed by another Brahmin he was to be branded and banished. If a Brahmin killed a person from lower caste, he was to compound for the harem of the King, adding the King’s enemy, creating revolt in the army, murdering ones father or mother or committing serious arson, capital punishment was given in varied forms, namely, roasting alive, drowning, trampling by elephants, devouring by dogs, cutting into pieces, impalement etc.

The above discussion on crime and punishment gives a necessary idea that infliction of punishment was not based on any broad principle rather on whim and caste consideration which was completely devoid of humanity and ethics.

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Ancient Ways Of Detecting Lies

Thankfully we now have the lie detector / polygraph but read below to see how we used to detect lies through the ages.

Being aware of the human ability to deceive along with the human inability to detect it, ancient courts and legal systems relied heavily upon trials by ordeal. The ordeals subjected the accused to all different physical tests and endurance&rsquos. Surviving the ordeals was taken as a divine acquittal.

The earliest legal source is found in the Hammurabi codex from the 18th century B.Ci and the Assyrian codex from the 12th century B.Cii that commands those who are suspected of witchcraft or adultery should &ldquofall&rdquo into the river. If she survives she will be acquitted and her accuser&rsquos estate will be confiscated. The book of Numbers (5:11-31) describes the &ldquobitter water ordeal&rdquo wherein a woman suspected of adultery should drink a glass of holy bitter water and swear in God&rsquos name that she had not betrayed her husband. If she is deceptive and telling lies her thighs and belly will become swollen.

Robinson shed more light on the ancient methods: One might solemnly swear that he was telling the truth, and get as many other people of his own class as the court required to swear that they believed that he was telling the truth. This was called compurgation. It was believed that God would punish those who swore falsely and told lies. On the other hand, the parties to the case, or persons representing them, might meet in combat, on the supposition that Heaven would grant victory to the right. This was the so-called wager of battle.

LaMonteiv describes some of the medieval ordeals: The ordeal by fire would consist of a man walking through open flames or carrying a red-hot iron a stated number of paces, and plunging the hand or arm into a pail of boiling water. In all of these ordeals the judgment of his fellows played an important role as they could determine the weight of the iron, the size of the fire, and the number of minutes which the arm must be held in the water. After the ordeal had been performed the arm was bandaged up and the bandages removed several days later. If the wounds had begun to heal he was declared innocent &ndash if not, he was guilty. The worst of the ordeals was that of cold water, in which a man was bound and thrown into a pond or stream. In this case if he floated he was guilty (and torched later) and if he sank he was judged innocent, as water will cast out impure substances. Priests were not subject to these ordeals, but were required instead to swallow a piece of cheese, the size of which was determined by the court. The Church Canon abolished the trial in 1215.

Tortures, as a mean to get the truth became &ldquoscientific&rdquo by the Inquisitors and especially by Chief Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada.v Lea, C. H., (1870). Superstition and Force. Henry C. Lea, Philadelphia One of the most comprehensive studies on ancient methods can be found in Lea&rsquos.vi Many tests described by Lea relied, not upon divine guidance, but upon the magical ability of some earthly substance to respond correctly to truth or falsehood. Thus the Roman Vestal Tucca proved her virtue by carrying water in a sieve. Early English jurists believed firmly in the power of murdered corpses to bleed when the murderer was brought into the room. In similar fashion, Greek maidens whose claims of chastity were in question swore to the truth of their statement in an oath written on a wooden tablet. The wood was fastened around the girl&rsquos neck and she walked into a fountain, which had special sensitivity to female virtue. If she was a good girl the water stayed on a level with her knees &ndash if she was a gay deceiver it rose to her neck and floated the wooden tablet. According to ancient Greek scholars, the Celts used to test fatherhood by throwing the newborn baby into the Herman River. If the baby survived it meant that he was &ldquolegitimate&rdquo if he drowned it meant that he was &ldquoillegitimate&rdquo. In the 8th century France, the parties in dispute used to stand one in front of the other lifting their arms in a cross-position. The party who lowered his hands first was declared guilty. In Burma the parties in dispute used to hold a burning candle. The party&rsquos candle that extinguished first was declared guilty hence lies.

In Europe Middle Ages the suspect was put to stand in front of an angry bull. If the bull stopped in front of the suspect he would be acquitted. The same logic applies to the Middle Ages European test in which the parties used to write down their claims on a piece of paper and then throw them into the fire. The paper that survived the fire was acquitted. In the Japanese &ldquoGoo&rdquo of the 6th century, the suspect had to swallow a papyrus with some holy sentences. If he is deceptive the papyrus will bother his stomach to the point where he would have to throw out his confession. In Central Africa they still use a trial in were they put a ceramic boiling pot on the subject&rsquos stomach. If he is deceptive, his skin will burn. Of all the many truth tests of ancient times, only a few definitely foreshadowed modern physiological methods. The earliest recorded instance is from Indu dated about 900 B.C. in which persons falsely denying being poisoners were considered to reveal their guilt by such physiological changes as blushing (facial vasodilatation). Some 600 years later Eristratus, physician to Alexander the Great used the &ldquotumultuous rhythm&rdquo of the heart to determine that the crown prince of the Seleucid Court in Syria was deceptive /lies about his impious &ndash and hence guilty &ndash love for his newly acquired stepmother. The ground truth was dramatically confirmed by the later birth of a daughter to the accused pair.

In the rice-chewing test in ancient India a man suspected of crime or deception was made to chew rice. If he could spit it out again he was considered innocent. If he couldn&rsquot, his story was judged false. This test has a sound physiological principle behind it. The emotion of fear tends to stop the salivary glands from secreting saliva. A person who was afraid, therefore, would have a dry mouth and could not spit out his rice. The same logic is still demonstrated nowadays in the hot iron licking test, used by the Bedouin (nomad) tribe in the Middle East in which the suspect has to lick a hot copper spoon. If he suffers no blister, he is considered truthful, otherwise deceptive. In the sacred name of &ldquosearch for the truth&rdquo ancient courts and legal systems tortured and abused witnesses and suspects. In a 21st century perspective it seems that their quest for the truth elevated depravation and degeneration to a state of art, but who are we to judge and how nowadays modern methods of detecting lies will be judged in the future.


Some Aspect of Crime in Bangladesh

The word crime is derived from the latin word krinos which means to accuse. it covers those acts which are against social order and deserve disapprobation and condemnation of society.

In General sense, crime means which violate law rules, regulation or which harmful or destroy human society or resources or which create problems in human life.

The word Crime has not been defined in the Bangladesh Penal Code. In it’s broad sense, however, it may be explained as an act of commission or omission which is harmful to the society in general. But all acts tending to prejudice the community are not crime unless they are punishable under the law.

According to Osborn, crime is an act or default which tends to the Prejudice of the community, and forbidden law on pain of punishment inflicted at the suit of the State. In its legal sense, therefore, crime includes such offences being acts or defaults which have been made punishable by the Bangladesh Penal code.

It is apparent from the above that there is nothing which by itself is a crime, unless it has declared by the legislature as punishable.

Object of the Research paper:

The research was started with few objects. They are mentioned below.

  1. To find out the present conditions of Crime in Bangladesh
  2. To find out the problem of Crime in Bangladesh
  3. To know what’s the reason of crime increasing day by day.
  4. To find out the solution of Crime problem in Bangladesh.
  5. To know the knowledge of about crime and early concept of its.

Methodology

As the Research Paper is that “ Some aspects of crime in Bangladesh”. I have submitted a critical review of the problems and the study intends to cover almost all the circumstances that have an influence on defining the standards of And I also submitted the recent report that is 2010 year and some previous year which is related about the legal education and crime in Bangladesh with special” Suggested solutions have also been provided. To make this research paper I have to collected t two types of data first one definition of crime and second one some aspect crime in Bangladesh. Primary data have been collected from the different sources of various persons such as legal authorities, some experienced persons, the person who have research on the same topic. The secondary data have been collected from various books written by various experienced scholars from some public universities and private universities and some website. These two types of data have been combined to complete my research paper. In my research Paper I also have shared the observations, comments and recommendations of various authors.

According to …,0xford Advanced Learner’s dictionary activities that involve breaking the law:

According to Black’s Law Dictionary: An Act that the makes punishable the breach of a legal duty treated as the subject matter of a criminal proceeding.

According to Legal and Commercial Section: Ordinarily a crime is a wrong which affects the security or well being of the public generally so that the public has an interest in its suppression. A crime is frequently a moral wrong in that it amounts to conduct which is inimical to the general moral sense of the community. It is, however, possible to instance many crimes which exhibit neither of the foregoing characteristics. An act may be made criminal by parliament simply because it is criminal process, rather than civil, which offers the more effective means of controlling the conduct in question.

According to Kenny “ Crimes are wrongs whose sanction is punitive, and is in no way remissible by any private person, but is remissible by the Crown alone, if remissible at all”. But this definition has evoked criticism on the ground that there are indeed a number of compoundable offences that are remissible by the consent of the parties.

Expressing his view on definition of crime, Roscoe Pound commented that “a final definition of crime is impossible, because law is a living and changing thing, which may at one time be based on sovereign will and at another time on juristic science, which may at one time be uniform and at another time give much room for judicial discretion, which may at one time be more specific in it’s prescription and at another time much more general.”

Cross & Jones define crime as a legal wrong the remedy for which is punishment of the offender at the instance of the State.

John Gillin defines crime as an act that has been shown to be actually harmful to the society, or that is believed to be socially harmful by a group of people that has power to enforce its beliefs and that places such at upon the ban of positive penalties. Thus he considers crime as an offence against the Law of the Land.

According to Blackstone, a crime is an act committed or omitted in violation of a Public Law either forbidding or commanding it. He, however, realized at a later stage that this definition may be proved to be misleading because it limits the scope of crime to violations of a “Public Law” which normally covers political offences such as offences against the State. Therefore, he modified his definition of crime and stated,” a crime is a violation of the ‘Public rights and duties’ due to the whole community, considered as a community”.

Stephen, the editor of Blackstone’s commentaries, further modified the above definition and said “a crime is a violation of a right, considered in reference to the evil tendency of such violation as regards the community at large”

Thus both, Blackstone and Stephen stress that crimes are breaches of those lows which injure the community’.

Stephen further added that ‘crime is an act which is both forbidden by law and revolting to the moral sentiments of the Society”.

Rejecting this judicial concept of crime, the well known Italion criminologist Raffeale Garofalo Preferred sociological definition of crime and stated that crime is an act which offends the basic sentiments of ‘pity’ and ‘probity’. Yet another view about crime is to treat it as an anti social behavior which is injurious to society.

Supporting this contention Sutherland characterizes crime as a symptom of social disorganization. The tendency of modern sociological penologists is, therefore, to treat crime as a social phenomenon which receives disapprobation of the society.

According to Donald Taft, ‘Crime is a social injury and an expression of subjective opinion varying in time and place”.

In the words Halsbury, ‘ Crime as an unlawful act which is an offence against the public and the perpetrator of that act is liable to legal punishment.”

A precise definition of ‘Crime’ is by no means an easy task. Generally speaking, almost all societies have certain norms, beliefs, customs and traditions which are implicitly accepted by it’s members as conducive to their well-being and heathy all round development. Infringement of these charished norms and customs is condemned as antisocial behabiour. Thus many writers have behavior. Thus many writers have defined ‘Crime’ as an antisocial, immoral, or sinful behaviour. However, according to the legal definition, ‘Crime’ is any form of conduct which is declared to be socially harmful in a State and as such forbidden by law under pain of some punishment.

From the foregoing definitions, it may be said that a crime is a wrong to society involving the breach of a legal wrong which has criminal consequences attached to it i.e. Prosecution by the State in the Criminal Court and the possibility of punishment being imposed on the wrongdoer.

It is significant to note that though the legal definition of crime has been criticised because of its relatively and variable content yet Halsbury’s definition is perhaps the most acceptable one as compared with other definitions because of its elaborate and specific nature and element of certainty. It also provides for the machinery and produce to determine the violations and to identify the offenders.

The authors of the Penal Code observed:

“We can not admit that a penal Code is any means to be considered as a body of ethics, that the Legislature aught to punish acts merely because those acts are immoral, or that, because an act is not punished at all it follows that the Legislature considers that act as innocent. Many things which are not punishable are morally worse than many things which are punishable. The man who treats a generous benefactor with gross ingratitude and insolence deserves more severe reprehension than the man who aims a blow in a passion, or break’s a window in a frolic yet we have punishment for assault and mischief, and none for ingratitude. The rich man who refuses a mouthful of rice to save a fellow creature from death may be a far worse man than the starving wretch who snatches and devours the rice, yet we punish the letter for theft, and we do not punish the former for hard heartedness”.

Crime is, therefore, relative conception. Different societies view different acts of commission and defaults as crime in different ages and according to different localities and circumstances. There are examples in History where heresy, i.e. religious belief other than that recognized by the State, has been treated is an offence punishable with death, but no nation can today think of prescribing punishment merely for holding such views.

Similarly, adultery is a civil offence against the law of matrimony England and leads to divorce, the husband having claim to compensation from the co-respondent. But in Bangladesh it is a crime within the meaning of section 497 of the Penal Code and is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, with both the Code however absolves the wife from punishment as an abettor and excuses her infidelity on account of some peculiarities in the state of society in this country where, according to the authors of the Code, a woman is sometimes married while still a child and is neglected for other lowers while still young. They were therefore, reluctant to make laws for punishing the inconstancy of the wife, while the law admitted the previlege of the husband to polygamy. We may profitably quote here the observation of the framers of the Code:

Though we well know that the dearest interests of the human race are closely connected with the chastity of women and the sacredness of the nuptial contract, we can not but feel that there are some peculiarities in the state of society in this country which may well lead a human man to pause before he determines to punish the infidelity of wives. The condition of the women of this country is unhappy, very different from that of the women of England and France they are married while still children they are often neglected for other wives while still young. They share the attentions of a husband with several rivals. To make laws for punishing the inconstancy of the wife, while the law admits the privilege of the husband to fill his Zanana with women, is a course which we are most reluctant to adopt. We are not so visionary as to think of attacking, by law, an evil so deeply rooted in manners of the people of this country as ploygamy. We leave it to the slow, but we trust the certain, operation of education and of time. But while it exists, while it continues to produce its never failing effects on the happiness and respectability of women, we are not inclined to throw into a scale, already too much depressed, the additional weight of the Penal Law.

The recognition of a crime, therefore, Varies with public opinion of a given society at a given time and there can not be any rigid or absolute criterion to determine it. Ideas may be change standards of ethical morality may differ, and with them may differ the recognition of any offence by the Legislature within the ambit of its Penal Code. It has, therefore been rightly said the crime is not a static quantity, nor can it be considered in absolute terms. There is actually no such thing as a crime in sea or crime by itself. Tort or civil wrong may be distinguished from crime. Tort differs from crime both in principle and procedure. In the first place, the former constitutes an injury or breach of duty to an individual or individuals concerning his or their private or civil rights, while the latter constitutes a breach or public rights and duties affecting the whole community considered as a community. In the second place, in tort the wrong doer has to compensate the aggrieved party, but in crime he is punished by the State in view of the interests of the society.

In the third place, in tort the action is raised by the aggrieved party, but in crime the State is supposed to be injured by wrong to the community and as such the proceedings are conducted in the name of the State, and the guilty person is punished by it.

And, lastly, in tort or civil wrong intention on the part of the wrong doer is immaterial, but criminal intention is an essential element in crime.

Although these two kinds of wrongs are clearly distinguishable, yet many crimes include a tort or civil injury but every tort does not amount to a crime, nor does every crime include a tort.

For example, conversion, private nuisance, wrongful distress, etc, are merely torts. Similarly, forgery, perjury, bigamy, homicide, etc. are examples of crimes but not torts where as assault, false imprisonment, false charge, defamation, etc. are crimes as well as torts. In all cases where the same wrong constitutes both a crime and a tort, the criminal and civil remedies are concurrent. The wrong doer may be punished a criminally and also compelled in a civil action to pay damages to the injured person.

There is no limitation to prosecute a person for an offence. Nullum tempus occurit regi (Lapse of time does not bar the right or the crown). As a criminal trail is regarded as an action by the Government, it may be brought at any time. It would be odious and fatal, said Bentham, to allow Wickedness, after a certain time, to triumph over innocence. No treaty should be made with malefactors of that character. Let the avenging sword remain always hanging over their heads. The sight of a criminal in peaceful enjoyment of the fruit of his crimes, protected by the laws he has violated, is a consolation to evil doers, an object or grief to men of virtue, a public insult to justice and to morals. The Roman Law, however, laid down a prescription of twenty years for criminal offences as a rule. There is no period of limitation for offences which fall within the four corners of the Penal Code.

Early Concept of Crime

Ever since the down of human civilization crime has been a baffling problem. There is hardly any society which is not beset with the problem of crime. Commenting on this aspect of crime problem, Emile Durkheim in his treatise ‘Crime as a normal phenomenon’s says, “a society composed of persons with angelic qualities would not be free from violations of the norms of that society. In fact, crime is a constant phenomenon charging with the social transformation. He argues that crime is a necessary feature of every society as it is a fundamental condition of social organisation. Different groups have different and often incompatible interest in the society which give rise to conflicts which eventually result in the incidence of crime.

Historically, the concept of crime seems to have always been changing with the variations in social conditions during the evolutionary stages of human society. This can be illustrated by the fact that early English Society during 12 th and 13 th centuries included only those acts as crime which were committed against the State or the religion. Thus, treason, rape and blasphemy were treated as crime whereas ‘murder’ was not a crime.

Primitive societies did not recognise any distinction between the law of crime and torts but only knew law of wrongs. Commenting on this point Fedrick, Pollock and Maitland observed that the English society prior to tenth century confused crimes with torts because the bond of family was for stronger than that of the community, the injured party and his kindred could avenge the wrong by private vengeance and self-redress. During this period, recourse to legal remedy was considered merely an optional alternative to self redress.

The wrong-doer was supposed to offer compensation to the person wronged, the quantum of which depended on the extent of the wrong caused and the status of the sufferer. The payment of compensation known as ‘bot’ (payment of compensation to the victim) washed away the guilt of the wrongdoer and relegated him to a position as if he had done no wrong. The early Anglo-Saxon Lau’s contained minutest details of compensation which was payable for different wrongs with a view to helping the person wronged in seeking redress.’

However, if ‘bot’ was refused, the law had no other means to enforce its payment. In that event it was for the victim or his kindred to prosecute a ‘blood-feud’ against the wrongdoer and law could help him only by declaring the wrongdoer as an ‘oullaw’ who could be chased and killed by anyone like a wild beast.

Besides the offer which could be atoned by ‘bot’ (payment of compensation to the victim) there were certain other wrongs which entailed additional fines payable to the king. That apart, there were certain botless offences for which no amount of compensation could wipe out the guilt and the wrongdoer had to undergo punishment. Such cases were punishable with death, mutilation or forfeiture of property to the king. House breaking, harboring the outlaws, refusing to serve in the army and breach of peace etc were some of the early ‘botless’ offences which entailed compulsory punishment under the law of the State.

As a matter of fact it is from these ‘botless’ offences that the modern concept of crime has emerged. The number of ‘botless’ offences increased considerably after twelfth century. Thus a distinct line of demarcation could be drown between the wrongs which could be redressable by payment of compensation and those which were not so repressible by money compensation and for which the wrongdoer was to be punished by the king. In course of time the former came to be known as civil wrongs or ‘tort’s while the latter as ‘crime’. It can, therefore be observed that the law did not play compelling part in regulating the Social relations in early days as it does today. The modern legal system provide that as soon as an offence is committed, the law is set into nation and once irrespective of the wishes of the injured partly, whereas in early societies the law was administered only if both the parties agreed to submit themselves to the verdict.

Another characteristic feature of this period of 1000 to 1200 A.D in the history of crime was the preponderance of the system of ordeals by fire or by water to establish the guilt or innocence of the accused. This was perhaps due to the dominance of religion in early days and superstitutions of the people who believed that their social relations were governed by some supernatural power which they regarded Omnipotent.

According to Dharamsastra writers ordeal was a living institution in India. Epigraphic and legal records show that ordeal was practiced strictly according to the Dharamsastra rules since times immemorial in the Indian history. Ancient writers have referred to the ordeals as divine methods with various names such as Samayakriya, Sapatha, Divya, or Pariksa, Ordeals were treated as a divine means of proof about guilt or innocence of the accused. The two important aspects of ordeals were :

  1. They indicated the diving aspect of trial, and
  2. The basic idea underlying this method of trial was the need of divine intervention at a crucial moment in dispensing justice. Thus ordeal was an antique institution, a deep rooted custom, proctised by the people in ancient India. Yajnavalkya mentions five kinds of ordeals Balance, Fire, Water, Poison and Kosa.

In the Balance ordeal, the accused was weighed against a stone and if the latter was lighter, the charge was considered to the false, but if it was otherwise, the charge stood proved.

The fire ordeal consisted of four main forms, namely,

i) going through nine circles with red hot iron ball in hand

ii) walking over burning fire

iii) Lifting up a piece of iron from boiling oil,

iv) Licking the red-hot iron bar with tongue.

In water ordeal, the accused was brought to a deep and rapidly flowing river or a deep well with such water. Then he was to speak to the water ‘since though belongest to the pure angels and knowest both what is secret and the public, kill me if I lie and angels preserve me if I speak the truth. Then five men took the accused and threw him into the water. If he was not guilty, he would not drown or die.

The poison ordeal was also used as a method of investigation. The accused was made to eat the poison or take out a living black serpent from a pot. If he survived harmless, he was supposed to be innocent otherwise he would be deemed guilty.

The kosa form of ordeal was the mildest ordeal meant for Universal application. The accused was taken to a temple. Then the priest poured water over the deity and this holy water was given to the accused for drinking. If he was guilty or false, he would at once vomit blood.

The first three ordeals were based on nature and on the principle of divine judgment. They however, fell into disuse in course of time.

Criminal Law: Nature and Elements

The Importance of criminal law in relation to crime need hardly be emphasised. Dr Alleh has defined law as something more than a mere command. He observed: it is the force of public opinion which attempts to enforce, as far as possible, good morals for the benefit of the society and its members. Marett views law as the authoritative regulation of social relation. It therefore follows that law is a relative term and pervasive in nature. In other words it is a varying concept which changes from society to society and time to time. The divergence between the Hindu and Mohammedan personal law of marriage, divorce, succession, legitimacy, legislation on prohibition, abortion COFEPOSA, etc can be cited in support of this contention. Thus the criminal law of a place can be defined as the body of special rules regulating human conduct promulgated by State and uniformly applicable to all classes to which it refers and is enforced by punishment. It should, however, be noted that law is simply a means to an end and should not be treated as an end it itself. Its ultimate object is to secure maximum good of the community.

In order to be effective, criminal law must have four important elements viz,

Politically implies that only the violation of rules made by the State are regarded as crime.

Specificity of criminal law connotes that it strictly defines the act to be treated as crime. In other words, the provisions of criminal law should be stated in specific terms.

Uniformity of criminal law suggests its uniform application throughout the country without any discrimination, thus imparting even handed justice to all alike. The purpose is to eliminate judicial description in the administration of criminal law. It must however be noted that recent legislations are providing scope for more and more judicial discretion through judicial equity to attain offenders reformation which is the ultimate goal of criminal justice.

Finally, its is through penal sanctions imposed under the criminal law that the members of society are deterred from committing crime. No law can possibly be effective without adequate penal sanctions.

Classification of Crimes

The existence of crime in a society is a challenge to its members due to its deleterious effect on the ordered social growth. In fact, it leads to a colossal waste of human energy and an enormous economic loss. Therefore, with the advance in the field of criminology and behavioral sciences, efforts are being constantly made to work out a commonly acceptable classification of crimes and criminals for providing a rational basis of punishment for various categories of offenders.

There are a variety of crimes such as –

  • Violent personal crimes
  • Occasional property crimes
  • Occupational crimes
  • Political crimes
  • Public order crimes
  • Conventional crimes, Organised crimes
  • Professional crimes
  • White collar crimes
  • Sexual crimes
  • Crimes against property
  • Crimes against person
  • Crimes against decency
  • Crimes against public order etc.

Broadly speaking, these may be categorised into three heads, mainly,

  1. I. Offences falling under Code of Criminal Procedure
  2. II. Offences under local or special laws or enactments.

Some writers have preferred to classify crimes into-

Legal crimes can be termed as traditional crimes such as-

The Political offences are those which are motivated politically or committed in the violation of the election Laws or norms set out for the politicians in course of their political activities or to achieve something by way of illegal means.

The Economic crimes include white collar offences such as –

  • Tex
  • Evasion
  • Smuggling
  • Prostitution
  • Gambling
  • Foreign exchange violations

Social crimes are those which are committed under social legislation such as-

  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1978
  • The Protection of civil Rights Act, 1955
  • The Immoral Traffic Act, 1956
  • The Indecent Representation of women Act, 1986
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  • The Juvenile Justice Act, 2000
  • The Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes Act, 1989 etc.

Classification under penal code:

All other remaining crimes which are committed under local or Special Acts, are termed as miscellaneous crimes, for example, offences under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 Drugs Act, 1940 Consumer’s Protection Act, 1986 Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 etc.

III Classification of offences under the Penal Code:

Under the Penal Code, Various offences have been classified into seven broad categories on statistical basis. They are:

  • Offences against Person
  • Offences against property
  • Offences relating to documents
  • Offences affecting mental order
  • Offences against public tranquillity
  • Offences against State
  • Offences relating to public servants.

This classification seems to be more rational and elaborate from the points of view of administration of criminal law and penal justice.

Characteristics of Crime

There are certain characteristics of a crime which make an unlawful act or omission punishable under the law of the land. The main characteristics of a crime are as follows

  1. External consequences: Crimes always have a harmful impact on society may it be social, personal, emotional or mental.
  2. Act: there should be an act or omission to constitute a crime. Intention or mens-rea alone shall not constitute a crime followed by some external act Generally, omitting to do will not amount to actus reus or an offence. The criminal law punishes individuals for positive conduct and not for inaction. There are however, some notable exceptions. For example, a police officer may, a duty to act to prevent an assault and if he does not, he will be liable to be punished under the law.
  3. Mens-rea or guilty mind- Mens-rea is one of the essential ingredients of a crime. It may, however, be direct or implied. The implied is otherwise termed as constructive mens-rea.

Mens-rea implies that there must be a state of mind with respect to an actus, that is, an intention to act in the proscribed fashion. It is, however, important to distinguish mens rea from motive. Thus if a person steals away a few loaves of bread from someone’s kitchen to feed a child who is dying of hunger, the motive here may be honourable and understandable, nevertheless the mens rea being to commit the theft, the person would be convicted for theft. His motive may, however, be taken into account in sentencing and he may be less severely punished because of his good motive. In short, motive should be taken into consideration at the sentencing stage and not at the time of deciding the question of mens rea.

  1. Prohibited act: The act should be prohibited or forbidden under the existing penal law. An act, howsoever immoral, shall not be an offence unless it is prohibited by law of the land.
  2. Punishment: The act, in order to constitute a crime should not only be prohibited by the law but should also be punishable by the State. The punishment is usually set out in terms of a maximum and the actual punishment in any particular case is left to the discretion of the judge. Both, the defence and the prosecution have a right to appeal against the quantum of sentence.

Crime has been a baffling problem ever since the dawn of human civilization and mans efforts to grapple with this problem have only partially succeeded. There is hardly any society which is not beset with problem of crime and criminality. As rightly pointed out by Emile Durkheim, crime is a natural phenomenon which is constantly changing with the social change.

Mental Disorder and Criminality

The term ‘mental disorder’ is also referred to as mental abnormality. It denotes that the mind is in a state of confusion or is suffering from some disease. Studies have shown that there is no evidence to prove that the crimes committed by criminals were induced by their mental disorder. On the country, crime statistics showed that quite a large number of criminals were persistent offenders and more that 66 percent of them had a past criminal record and 44 percent of them had previously been in a prison undergoing sentence.

Be that as it may, law does take mental illness or insanity into account while determining the criminal liability of the offender. It is also taken into account in sentencing offenders where they are subjected to clinical treatment rather than being sentenced. Insanity has been recognized as defence in most Penal laws.

The rules recognizing the defence of insanity in criminal law were first laid down in 1843 in the historic M’ Naghen’s case.

Insanity under Bangladeshi Criminal Law

Under the Penal Code of Bangladesh insanity has been accepted as a defence to a charge of crime. Section 84 of the Penal Code of Bangladesh give immunity from criminal liability to a person, who, by reason of unsoundness of mind, is unable to know the nature of the act or is unable to know that he is doing either wrong or contrary to law”. In recognising a state of mind on the part of the accused as a complete defence criminal responsibility, the law postulates that it is futile to punish a person who does not know the nature of his act, or that what he is doing is either wrong or contrary to law. “The mind, in the real sense, does not accompany the physical act. To punish the conduct of such a person would be abuse of law without any practical utility. If a person does not possess knowledge about the nature of the act, then he will not appreciate what he is being punished for. And, if he does not appreciate that much, then the objective of punishment will not be achieved. In fact, punishment is intended to ac: on the mind of the person punished and to alter the direction in which his mind has been working so far. If the mind was not in substance a party to the conduct, then the question of changing the direction of mind cannot arise.

In cases where the defence of insanity is set up under Section 84 of P.C., it is material to consider the circumstances which have preceded, attended and followed the crime whether there was deliberation and preparation for the act, whether it was done in a manner which showed a desire to concealment of consciousness of guilt and whether the accused made any efforts to avoid detection and whether after arrest he offered false excuses or made false statements etc.

Where in the morning the accused behaved normally, went to and came from his office alone, wrote an application for leave and at 01.45 PM killed a child and stabbed two others and on his arrest soon after 2.45 pm gave normal and intelligent answers to the Investigative officers, it was held that the accused was not insane at the time of commission of offence and therefore can not be allowed the defence of insanity under section 84 of penal code.

Psychological concept of crime

Psychology includes within it the study of mind and behaviour attitudes etc. It is the study of individual characteristics such as personality reasoning, thought perceptions, intelligence, imagination, memory creativity and so on.

Psychologists treat crime as a behaviour learnt by the criminal in whose of his contact with different persons. Thus like sociologists, they seek to explain crime in terms of environmental circumstances.

As stated earlier, Lonibroso attributed criminality to atavism which meant that criminals have savagery ancestral history an& criminality in :hem is hereditary. Similar assertions were made by Goring who pointed out that criminality traits in criminals are imbibed by heredity and through instinctive patterns and, therefore, environmental conditions are of little importance. Subsequent researches by psychologists and sociologists have, however, demonstrated beyond doubt that it is not the heredity but the psychological influences operating in delinquent families that makes one criminal. The child consciously imbibes criminality traits from the family background of the delinquent parents and subsequently turns into a confirmed criminal. Also, children who are removed away from their parents at an early age tend to follow criminality for want of proper parental care and lack of affection which develops the feelings of inferiority complex, frustration and humiliation in them. Thus, it has been rightly commented by Sutherland that the resemble and between -father and son as regards criminality is not due to contagion but it is because of peculiar human psychology of learning things, observation and association that makes them -follow criminal behavior if placed in circumstances which are conductive to crime.

Some crimes of Bangladesh :

Bangladesh is a small and poor country. It has many problems like, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, over population etc. So, many cases crimes are related or create to this problem. Such as Theft, Dacoity Terrorism, Juvenile delinquency, Smuggling, Fraud, Violation of human rights, Illegal drug manufacturing etc.

Now discuss in below some aspect of crime which happened in Bangladesh available:

According to section 378 of penal code, theft means- whoever, intending to take dishonesty any movable property out of the possession of any person without that persons consent, moves that property in order of such taking said to commit heft.

Theft is a highly organized criminal activity effecting the whole word. theft may be mobile phone, ornaments, any valuable product etc.

Follow a chart of registered cases:

YearNumber of Offence
20068234
20078605
20088101
20098332
201012015

Source: Bangladesh Police Website .

The purposes of the groups related to auto theft are numerous. ^Ihe vehicles are not only stolen for their own sake sometimes they are trafficked to finance other crimes. They can also be used as bomb carriers or in the perpetration of other crimes.

The Interpol General Secretariat has developed the Automated Search Facility-Stolen Motor Vehicle (ASF-SMV) database to support police in member countries in the fight against international vehicle theft and trafficking. At the end of June 2007, the database held more than 3.8 million records of reported stolen motor vehicles, dose to 146 countries use the database regularly. Of these, 115 countries have shared their national stolen vehicle database records with Interpol.

More than 16,000 motor vehicles were discovered worldwide until June 2007 through the ASF-SMV database.

YearNumber of Vehicles Stolen
20032498543
20042600227
20052641369
20062702700
20073236685
20083296263
20093677898
2010 (up to June)3811757

Drug Trafficking :

Alcoholism and drug addiction maybe conceptualized as crime without vitamin addict himself is the victim who become a pry of its mires. It gives rise to criminality and criminal behaviour which eventually leads of social disorganization. Though alcoholism and drug addiction are victimless crime, they do carry with them secondary victims such as family dependents, friends, acquairetance etc.

The drug trade invades growers, producers covriers, suppliers, dealers and useps, The glabal abuse of dregs and the drug frafficking situation in becoming more complex, in part due to political and economic changes arourd the world which have led to increasingly open borders between many counties.

Among the organized activities, illegal drags cannabis, cocaine, heroin, synthetic drugs are related to the crimes of drug traffioking. To day’s Bangladesh, illegal drugs are available. Men are going to destroy for this illegal drugs. They commit many kinds of crime for effect of crime. Follow a statistics of drug trafficking:


Ancient Ways of Detecting Lies

Being aware of the human ability to deceive along with the human inability to detect it, ancient courts and legal systems relied heavily upon trials by ordeal. The ordeals subjected the accused to all different physical tests and endurance’s. Surviving the ordeals was taken as a divine acquittal.

The earliest legal source is found in the Hammurabi codex from the 18th century B.Ci and the Assyrian codex from the 12th century B.Cii that commands those who are suspected of witchcraft or adultery should “fall” into the river. If she survives she will be acquitted and her accuser’s estate will be confiscated. The book of Numbers (5:11-31) describes the “bitter water ordeal” wherein a woman suspected of adultery should drink a glass of holy bitter water and swear in God’s name that she had not betrayed her husband. If she is deceptive and telling lies her thighs and belly will become swollen.

Robinson shed more light on the ancient methods: One might solemnly swear that he was telling the truth, and get as many other people of his own class as the court required to swear that they believed that he was telling the truth. This was called compurgation. It was believed that God would punish those who swore falsely and told lies. On the other hand, the parties to the case, or persons representing them, might meet in combat, on the supposition that Heaven would grant victory to the right. This was the so-called wager of battle.

La Monteiv describes some of the medieval ordeals: The ordeal by fire would consist of a man walking through open flames or carrying a red-hot iron a stated number of paces, and plunging the hand or arm into a pail of boiling water. In all of these ordeals the judgment of his fellows played an important role as they could determine the weight of the iron, the size of the fire, and the number of minutes which the arm must be held in the water. After the ordeal had been performed the arm was bandaged up and the bandages removed several days later. If the wounds had begun to heal he was declared innocent – if not, he was guilty. The worst of the ordeals was that of cold water, in which a man was bound and thrown into a pond or stream. In this case if he floated he was guilty (and torched later) and if he sank he was judged innocent, as water will cast out impure substances. Priests were not subject to these ordeals, but were required instead to swallow a piece of cheese, the size of which was determined by the court. The Church Canon abolished the trial in 1215.

Tortures, as a mean to get the truth became “scientific” by the Inquisitors and especially by Chief Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada.v Lea, C. H., (1870). Superstition and Force. Henry C. Lea, Philadelphia One of the most comprehensive studies on ancient methods can be found in Lea’s.vi Many tests described by Lea relied, not upon divine guidance, but upon the magical ability of some earthly substance to respond correctly to truth or falsehood. Thus the Roman Vestal Tucca proved her virtue by carrying water in a sieve. Early English jurists believed firmly in the power of murdered corpses to bleed when the murderer was brought into the room. In similar fashion, Greek maidens whose claims of chastity were in question swore to the truth of their statement in an oath written on a wooden tablet. The wood was fastened around the girl’s neck and she walked into a fountain, which had special sensitivity to female virtue. If she was a good girl the water stayed on a level with her knees – if she was a gay deceiver it rose to her neck and floated the wooden tablet. According to ancient Greek scholars, the Celts used to test fatherhood by throwing the newborn baby into the Herman River. If the baby survived it meant that he was “legitimate” if he drowned it meant that he was “illegitimate”. In the 8th century France, the parties in dispute used to stand one in front of the other lifting their arms in a cross-position. The party who lowered his hands first was declared guilty. In Burma the parties in dispute used to hold a burning candle. The party’s candle that extinguished first was declared guilty hence lies.

In Europe Middle Ages the suspect was put to stand in front of an angry bull. If the bull stopped in front of the suspect he would be acquitted. The same logic applies to the Middle Ages European test in which the parties used to write down their claims on a piece of paper and then throw them into the fire. The paper that survived the fire was acquitted. In the Japanese “Goo” of the 6th century, the suspect had to swallow a papyrus with some holy sentences. If he is deceptive the papyrus will bother his stomach to the point where he would have to throw out his confession. In Central Africa they still use a trial in were they put a ceramic boiling pot on the subject’s stomach. If he is deceptive, his skin will burn. Of all the many truth tests of ancient times, only a few definitely foreshadowed modern physiological methods. The earliest recorded instance is from Indu dated about 900 B.C. in which persons falsely denying being poisoners were considered to reveal their guilt by such physiological changes as blushing (facial vasodilatation). Some 600 years later Eristratus, physician to Alexander the Great used the “tumultuous rhythm” of the heart to determine that the crown prince of the Seleucid Court in Syria was deceptive /lies about his impious – and hence guilty – love for his newly acquired stepmother. The ground truth was dramatically confirmed by the later birth of a daughter to the accused pair.

In the rice-chewing test in ancient India a man suspected of crime or deception was made to chew rice. If he could spit it out again he was considered innocent. If he couldn’t, his story was judged false. This test has a sound physiological principle behind it. The emotion of fear tends to stop the salivary glands from secreting saliva. A person who was afraid, therefore, would have a dry mouth and could not spit out his rice. The same logic is still demonstrated nowadays in the hot iron licking test, used by the Bedouin (nomad) tribe in the Middle East in which the suspect has to lick a hot copper spoon. If he suffers no blister, he is considered truthful, otherwise deceptive. In the sacred name of “search for the truth” ancient courts and legal systems tortured and abused witnesses and suspects. In a 21st century perspective it seems that their quest for the truth elevated depravation and degeneration to a state of art, but who are we to judge and how nowadays modern methods of detecting lies will be judged in the future.


Ordeal of Rice: Suspects in Ancient India Forced to Chew Rice to Determine Their Guilt - History

The subject of Legal History comprises the growth, evolution and development Of the legal system of a country it sets forth the historical process where by a legal system has come to be what it is over.

Hindu Period: these period extents for nearly 1500 years before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The ancient India was divided into several independent states and the King was the supreme authority of each state. As far as the administration of justice is concerned the King was considered the fountain of justice. He was entrusted with the supreme authority of the administration of justice in his kingdom. The essential features of judicial system of this period were as follows:

A. Organization of Court Structure:

Following courts were exist during the ancient Hindu period:

The Kings court was the highest court of appeal in the state. It was also a court of original jurisdiction for cases of vital importance to the state. In Kings Court the King was advised by learned Brahmins, The Chief Justice and other judges, ministers, elders and representatives of the trading community.

The Chief Justice’s Court:

The Chief Justices Court which consisted of the Chief Justice and a board of judges to assist the Chief Justice. All the judges in the board belonged to three upper castes preferable Brahmins.

Sometimes separate tribunals with specified territorial jurisdiction used to be formed from among judges who were members of the board of the Chief Justice’s court.

D. Town or District Court:

In towns and districts courts were run by the government officials to administer justice under the authority of the king.

E. Village Council:

The local village councils or Kulani was constituted at village level .This councils consisted of a board of five or more members for administration of justice to villagers. The councils dealt with civil and criminal matters.

B. Judicial Procedure:

A. Stages of a Suit:-

A suit or trial consisted of four stages the plaint, the reply and investigation and finally the verdict or decision of the court.

B. Bench of more than one Judges:-

The courts were functioning on the principle that justice should not be administered by a single judge. Generally a bench of two or more judges would administer justice. Even the King decided cases in his council.

Appointment of Judges and Judicial Standard:-

In the appointment of the Chief Justice and other judges the question of caste consideration played vital role. The Chief Justice was mandatory appointed from Brahmins. A sudra was forbidden to be appointed as a judge. Appointments were made from among the persons who were highly qualified and learned in law. Women were not allowed to hold the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the office of a judge. Judges were required to take the oath of impartiality when deciding disputes between citizens.

D. Doctrine of Precedent:–

The decisions of the King’s court were binding on all lower courts. The principles of law declared by higher courts were taken into consideration by the lower courts while deciding cases.

During the course of proceeding both the parties were required to prove their case by producing evidence. Ordinarily, evidence was based on any or all the three sources, namely, documents, witnesses, and the possession of incriminating objects. In criminal cases, sometimes circumstantial evidence was sufficient to punish the criminal or acquit him.

C. Trial by Ordeal:

Ordeal which was a kind of custom based on religion and faith in God was a means of proof to determine the guilt of the person. The application of trial by ordeal was limited only to the cases where any concrete evidence on either side was not available. This system ordeal was very painful and dangerous to the accused, and sometimes the person giving ordeal died during the ordeal. Some common ordeals are described below:

Ordeal by Fire: According to the Hindu myth fire is considered to be God and it has purifying qualities. According to the ordeal of fire, the accused was directed to walk through or stand or sit in fire for some specified time. If the accused comes out from the fire without any harm, he was considered to innocent.

Sometime the accused was asked to carry a red hot iron ball in his hand and walk a few paces. If he had no signs of burns after the ordeal, he was considered to be innocent.

Ordeal by water: Water seen as a sign of purity under the Hindu mythology was used to test the guilt of the accused. The accused was required to stand in waist- deep water and then to sit down in the water, as an archer shot to an arrow. If the accused remained in the water during the time limit, he was held to be innocent,. Alternatively the accused was required to drink water used in bathing the idol. If he had no harmful effects within next fourteen days, he was declared to be innocent.

C. Ordeal by Poison:-

This method was also based on the view that God protects innocent people. The accused was required to drink poison without vomiting it. If he survived, he was declared to be innocent.

D. Ordeal by Rice- grains:-

The accused was required to chew un- husked rice and then asked to spit out. If blood appeared in his mouth, he was considered to be guilty, otherwise not.

E. Ordeal by Lot:-

Two lots of the same type representing Right (Dharma) and Wrong (Adharma) were placed in a jar. The accused was asked to draw a lot, if the accused drew Dharma he was declared innocent.

D. Trial by Jury:

The jury system existed in ancient India but not in the same from as understood in today’s world. There is evidence that the community members used to assist the administration of justice. They were merely examiners of the case of conflict and placed true facts before the judge though the verdict was declared by the presiding judge and by the jury.

E. crimes and punishments:

The philosophy of crime and punishment was based on the idea that the punishment removed impurities from the accused person and his character is reformed. Before punishment was to be awarded the judge had to consider the motive and nature of the offence, time and place, strength, age, conduct, learning and monetary position of the offender.

There were four methods of punishment- by gentle admonition, by severe reproof, by fine and by corporal punishment. These punishments could be inflicted separately or together depending upon the nature of the offence.

Judges always considered the relevant circumstances before deciding actual punishment. The severity of punishment depended on caste as well.

Certain classes of persons were exempted from punishment:-

  • Old people over eighty
  • Boys below sixteen
  • Women and persons suffering from diseases were to be given half of the normal punishment.
  • A child below five was considered to be immune from committing any crime and therefore was not liable to be punished.
  • In adultery and rape, punishment was awarded on the basis of the caste consideration of the offender and of the woman.
  • In abuse or contempt case every care was taken to see that each higher caste got due respect from persons of lower caste.

For example:- If a person of a lower caste set with a person of higher cast, the man of the lower caste was to be branded on the breech. For committing murder the murder was to pay 1000 cows for killing a Kshatriya, 100 for a Vaisyo and 10 for a Sudra. These cows were given to the King to be delivered to the relatives of the murdered person. A bull was given to the King as a fine for murder.

If a Brahmin was killed a person of lower caste, the murderer would be put to death and his property confiscated.

If a Brahmin was killed by another Brahmin he was to be branded and banished. If a Brahmin killed a person from lower caste, he was to compound for the harem of the King, adding the King’s enemy, creating revolt in the army, murdering ones father or mother or committing serious arson, capital punishment was given in varied forms, namely, roasting alive, drowning, trampling by elephants, devouring by dogs, cutting into pieces, impalement etc.

The above discussion on crime and punishment gives a necessary idea that infliction of punishment was not based on any broad principle rather on whim and caste consideration which was completely devoid of humanity and ethics.

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