Sunday, December 22, 2013

State v. Porter case brief

State v. Porter case brief summary
698 A.2d 739 (Conn. 1997)

Defendant appealed the order of the Court of Appeals (Connecticut), which denied his motion to admit into evidence the results of his polygraph examination.

The defendant sought to have evidence of the results of his polygraph test admitted during his trial for arson. The trial court ruled that polygraph evidence was inadmissible and denied the defendant's motion. The intermediate appellate court affirmed that ruling.


  • The court reviewed the Daubert test for admissibility of scientific evidence and stated that scientific tests should conform to some measure of general acceptance in the scientific world. 
  • The court concluded that Connecticut's judges served a gatekeeping function with regard to scientific evidence and that there had to be some scientific validity involved in the test before it might be admitted. 
  • With polygraph examinations, the court stated there is little probative value to the test and the accuracy of the test could readily be questioned. 
  • The defendant's right to compulsory process was not impinged by the court's refusal to admit the polygraph evidence.
The court affirmed the intermediate appellate court's ruling which affirmed the denial of the defendant's motion to admit the results of his polygraph test.

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