Statement Analysis, like its electronic partner, the polygraph, is not admissible in court. Neither a Statement Analyst, nor a Polygraph Examiner is considered a "court testimony expert" for judicial purposes.
The polygraph is not administered in court, yet it is used at the highest levels of government to protect our leaders. These are leaders of whom money is no limit or barrier to their security and safety.
Statement Analysis is 'linguistic evidence' but it is not "court evidence" of its own accord.
When a polygraph is administered using the subject's own words with the avoidance of linguistic contamination it is full proof.
I have testified, many times, both "to" and "with" statement analysis. In fact, it is something that is inescapable. This means: we all use statement analysis when we communicate and when under oath, leaving the question only to be how effect or accurate is our usage.
For example, when Dennis DeChaine took the stand in his own defense on the charge of killing 13 year old Sara Cherry, DeChaine had claimed that he was alone in the woods, having taken drugs, and having lost his fishing pole and equipment. In the course of his testimony, the legally sound questions of "What happened?" and "What happened, next?" were administered.
DeChaine said that he was alone and had never seen the victim until her photo was in the newspapers. While recounting his story he said he stood admiring the "deciduous trees" but got up ("stood") because "we were losing daylight."
"...we were losing daylight."
The prosecutor caught the use of the pronoun "we" by him and asked for explanation in light of his claim to have been alone. In doing so, he used a most typical tool within statement analysis: focusing upon pronouns. The next day the defense countered with the explanation that the use of "we" was not to indicate plurality, but "universal" usage of the word, meaning that while deep in the woods alone, he was thinking of how he and everyone else was losing daylight, similar to "we had snow that day."
The jury did not accept this explanation and he was convicted of the murder of the child.
I have testified under oath as to Statement Analysis usage and simply reported to having "believed what I was told" including stating, "I interviewed him for more than 2 and 1/2 hours. At no time did he tell me he did not assault the victim. "
This was met with,
"So what does that tell you?"
I have answered: "If he cannot say he didn't do it, I don't not say it for him."
This is most often countered by a defense attorney asking,
"But isn't it possible...?"
I simply answer, "I don't address possibilities; they are infinite in number." Sometimes, if pressed, I follow it by "I deal with probabilities."
Many years ago, a judge taught me how to word this. At times, I have quoted various studies, including referring to the Supreme Court decision on the Reid techniques but mostly refer back to 'common sense' listening. It is very frustrating for a defense attorney to hear me say "I believe what your client told me."
In the sense of being guided in an investigation, "linguistic evidence" is powerful. When someone speaks, they may give away:
a. That they did it
b. When they did it
c. How they did it
d. Why they did it
Picture yourself knowing these details before the investigation gets underway. It is a powerful tool to guide an investigation, saving time and bringing it into focus. When someone says "we", I believe them. Pronouns are instinctive for us.
Yet, proving in court beyond a reasonable doubt (or 'preponderance' in civil) is where the unending and appropriate battle between investigators and prosecutors exists.
With the absence of a body in a murder case, for example, prosecutors are in a very difficult position.
They want justice.
They often believe the investigators, personally, but fear being able to prove it in court.
Some fear due to genuine lack of tangible or forensic evidence. This is appropriate and "professional" fear. Some fear due to their own lack of confidence, while some fear due to the prowess of a high powered private attorney. Demonizing the prosecutor is easy, and competence versus incompetence exists in every profession. Each one of us has to battle our own levels of confidence.
The investigator who now knows who did it, must concentrate upon building the evidence that supports the contention. With Statement Analysis often running at or near 100% accuracy, it still does not prove anything in court.
We know, for example, that after thousands of polygraph results examined, that as humans, recall works chronologically, and when one uses the verb "left" (meaning: departed) unnecessarily, the chronological progression of recall has been 'stalled' or even stopped. This is a strong indication of missing information in the sentence. It is here that we focus our questions to learn what content has been withheld.
It is not court evidence, but it is 'linguistic evidence' that guides the interviewer as to what caused the pause in chronological movement within a statement. Was it due to time constraints, such as facing traffic? Or, did something happen just prior to this moment in the statement that is critical to the investigation?
When a subject uses this word "left" *unnecessarily, it is an indication of missing information.
When the subject uses it twice, very close together, we now may conclude that the missing information is vital.
It "proves" nothing in court, but "everything" in analysis.
In fact, it is rare to see this 'double left' and we consider the psychology behind it: the subject simply cannot 'move past' this period of time. When it does show up, it is most likely to be in a homicide in which the killer had a close relationship to his victim.
In the statement, it is to give the investigator/interviewer the precise area in which to concentrate his questions, including repetitive questions.
Statement Analysis is not admissible in court, and holds no "expert status" legally.
It is, however, something every listening person uses, leaving only the question:
How well do you intend to use it?
Q. What is most produced by Statement Analysis for success in courts?
A. The Confession
From federal to state to local; from investigators to business professionals to Human Resources; from therapists to attorneys to journalists, sales, security, and bloggers, the application of concerted study is invaluable.
It will improve your work, provide traction for your career, and strengthen your resume for your own future.