Lie Detection and the Law: Torture, Technology and Truth, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Lie Detection and the Law

Torture, Technology and Truth, 1st Edition

By Andrew Balmer


186 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138855632
pub: 2018-05-29
SAVE ~$28.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315720258
pub: 2018-05-23
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book develops a sociological account of lie detection practices and uses this to think about lying more generally. Bringing together insights from sociology, social history, socio-legal studies and science and technology studies (STS), it explores how torture and technology have been used to try to discern the truth. It examines a variety of socio-legal practices, including trial by ordeal in Europe, the American criminal jury trial, police interrogations using the polygraph machine, and the post-conviction management of sex offenders in the USA and the UK. Moving across these different contexts, it articulates how uncertainties in the use of lie detection technologies are managed, and the complex roles they play in legal spaces. Alongside this story, the book surveys some of the different ways in which lying is understood in philosophy, law and social order. Lie Detection and the Law will be of interest to STS researchers, socio-legal scholars, criminologists and sociologists, as well as others working at the intersections of law and science.

Table of Contents

1. Torture, Technology and Truth 2. Truth and Lies from Torture to Technology 3. The Polygraph Machine in the United States Criminal Courts 4. The Exclusionary Toolbox 5. Polygraph Uncertainties in the Law 6. Polygraph Interrogations 7. Subjects of Suspicion 8. Lying

About the Author

Andrew Balmer is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester. He is a member of the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives.

About the Series

Law, Science and Society

Traditionally, the role of law has been to implement political decisions concerning the relationship between science and society. Increasingly, however, as our understanding of the complex dynamic between law, science and society deepens, this instrumental characterisation is seen to be inadequate, but as yet we have only a limited conception of what might take its place. In short, there is a need for new research and scholarship, and it is to that need that this series responds.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Procedure
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Neuroscience
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology