Could "truth serum" be used in court?

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Offline thedoc

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Could "truth serum" be used in court?
« on: 08/04/2013 22:30:02 »
Harry Dawes  asked the Naked Scientists:
With the Pistorius case in the news I wondered if there is such a thing as a truth serum we used to see in the Cold War days and would it be possible to use it in court?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/04/2013 22:30:02 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Could
« Reply #1 on: 09/04/2013 20:16:34 »
Truth serum doesn't necessarily make a person tell the truth, it just reduces inhibitions, somewhat like getting someone getting intoxicated in a bar, in which case they are still able to spin tall tales.

No doubt in the Oscar Pistorius case, the self defence argument is well rehearsed, and sticking to the argument under induced intoxication would not necessarily clear him of wrong doing.  Likewise, no matter what his thoughts were at the time of the shooting, there would always be second guessing of his actions which could cause errors in recounting events while intoxicated.

Different countries define human rights differently.  In the USA, forcing the ingestion of a substance without consent, or giving them an injection without consent would be considered unconstitutional.  Such interrogations might also be considered similar to denying counsel.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2013 20:22:40 by CliffordK »