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Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement


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In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of determining a person’s innocence or guilt was used. This was called the ‘trial by ordeal’. This method involved having the accused do something dangerous or even life-threatening. If the accused survived the ordeal, he or she is (usually) proclaimed innocent. If guilty, the individual would perish.

Judgment by God

The intention of the trial by ordeal is to leave the judgment of an accused in the hands of a higher force. In European societies during the Middle Ages, a concept known as the iudicium Dei (meaning ‘the judgment of God’) was the basis for the trial by ordeal. It was believed by societies during that time that God would intervene and protect an innocent person during a trial by ordeal, whilst punishing a guilty individual.

It has been argued that a trial by ordeal could have been much like a Medieval version of a polygraph test. Peter T Leeson provides an example of how it may work in the case of someone having been accused of stealing a neighbor’s cat, for example: “The court thinks you might have committed the theft, but it’s not sure, so it orders you to undergo the ordeal of boiling water. Like other medieval Europeans, you believe in iudicium Dei – that a priest, through the appropriate rituals, can call on god to reveal the truth by performing a miracle that prevents the water from burning you if you’re innocent, letting you burn if you’re not.”

If the person is guilty, he/she would consider the cost of paying a fine after confessing less than the pain and cost of lying and undergoing the test. If the person is innocent he/she would opt for the test, believing that God would protect him/her and he/she would have nothing to pay or lose by completing the test of innocence.

However, it’s worth noting that trial by ordeal was more commonly used in important and difficult criminal cases where evidence was lacking. Maybe it would not have had the same kind of lie-detecting ability if the case had more severe punishments if someone was found guilty, such as death or exile, instead of paying a fine.

Although the trial by ordeal is most commonly associated with Medieval Europe, its use can be found in other societies in earlier periods of history.

Trial by Ordeal in the Old Testament

It is said that examples of trials by ordeals can be found in the Ramayana, a Hindu epic, and the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament. In the latter, a trial by ordeal for women accused of adultery was prescribed by God to Moses. The instructions for such a trial are as follows:

“And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot:”

In the Old Testament, Moses issues a trial by ordeal to a woman accused of adultery. Painting of Moses by Rembrandt ( Wikipedia)

Babylonian ‘Justice’

Another form of trial by ordeal for a woman accused by adultery can be found in the earlier Babylonian Code of Hammurabi . According to this trial by ordeal,

“If the “finger is pointed” at a man’s wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.”

This “jump into the river” is explained in an earlier part of the Code:

“If anyone bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.”

The Code of Hammurabi ( Wikipedia)

Trial by Water

This ‘trial by water’ is known also as the ‘swimming test’, and is most infamously known for being used to try witches during the 17th century. A person accused as a witch would be dragged to the nearest body of water, stripped to their undergarments, bound, and tossed into the water to see if she would sink or float. The ‘logic’ was that since witches spurned the sacrament of Baptism, the water would reject their body, causing them to float. On the other hand, if woman sank, then her innocence was proven. Though the accused would normally have a rope tied around their waist so that she could be pulled up if she sank, accidental drowning deaths did occur as well.

This ‘trial by water’ was one of the many forms of the trial by ordeal carried out during the Middle Ages. Other examples include the ‘trial by Host (the Holy Eucharist)’, ‘trial by hot iron’ and ‘trial by hot water’. The first is said to be reserved for priests accused of committing crimes or perjury. According to this trial, the accused would go before the altar and pray aloud that God would choke him if he lied. He would then take the Host. It was believed that if the priest was guilty, he would either choke or have difficulty swallowing.

Trial by water, 17 th century engraving ( Wikipedia)

The End of Trials by Ordeal

In Europe, participation in trials by ordeal by the clergy was prohibited by Pope Innocent III during the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. Nevertheless, trials by ordeal continued in Europe for some time, eventually dying out centuries later. It may be hard to imagine the trial by ordeal taking place today. Still, in some parts of the world, these trials are still going on. In Liberia, for instance, the disruption of the court systems during the Liberian Civil War allowed trials by ordeal (known as ‘sassywood’ rituals’) to be regarded as legitimate alternatives to ‘Western justice’. The most common form of this ritual involves the ingestion of a concoction of the sassywood bark. If a person vomited the concoction back up, he/she was presumed innocent. If not, the accused was guilty, and the concoction, which was poisonous, would kill him/her. The use of the sassywood rituals today causes great concern amongst human rights organisations.

In a similar process to the ‘sassywood ritual’, inhabitants of Madagascar gave the accused a poisonous tangena nut. In the 1820s, ingestion of the poisonous nut caused about 1,000 deaths annually. A 19th-century artist's depiction of the tangena ordeal in Madagascar ( Wikipedia)

Featured image: A 17 th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water. Photo source: Wikimedia

By Ḏḥwty


Trial By Ordeal In England

Due to this, hate crimes now have higher penalties for crimes designated as being racially aggravated, for example, if the crime is motivated in part by an individual perpetrator’s racial hatred it is considered a racially aggravated crime. Racist violence is defined as “violence against persons or property motivated by racism, ethnocentrism, religious intolerance, or xenophobia” (Bleich p.150). The government in the UK has stepped up the actions taken against racist violence in their country. They have shifted their focus to the energies of reforming the police and judicial process for prosecuting racially aggravated offenses. There had always been periodic beating, murders, and interethnic riots, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that they turned their&hellip


16 Brutal Realities of Trial By Combat Fighting Throughout History

A painting depicting Holmgang by Johannes Flintoe. Wikimedia.

15. Vikings Practiced a Form of Trial By Combat Called Holmgang

No one loved a good fight like the Vikings of early Scandinavia. It is perhaps natural, then, that the Germanic law practice of trial by combat was warmly accepted and woven into the Viking legal tradition. Holmgang, meaning &ldquoto walk on a small island,&rdquo in reference to the small mats or leathers on which the fights would be waged, was practiced throughout Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark in the medieval era. Scraps of medieval Scandinavian law writings still exist that detail the requirements for issuing a holmgang challenge.

Holmgang challenges were not bound by any form of social class or order, as was common in other countries with trial by combat. A low ranking male could challenge his own master to holmgang if an offense were given. Holmgang were most often fought over honor, property rights, debts, or avenging women and friends. Holmgang were done within three to seven days of a challenge being issued, on small mats of three meters or less that forced the combatants to stay close. If the accused fail to show, he was rendered an honorless man and stripped of many rights. Weak or ill men were allowed to choose a champion to fight in their stead.


Trial by Ordeal

Résumé : La mer et les vents agissent en complicité, tous deux relevant des dieux seuls. Leur action est déclenchée et orientée par des divinités qui s’en servent comme moyen d’action à distance, soit pour aller au secours des mortels, soit pour les punir. Cet article se propose d'éclaircir, à partir de l'épisode homérique de la visite d'Ulysse chez Éole, la manière dont la mer et les vents peuvent agir à titre d'agents divins dont le déferlement est un signe de la volonté des dieux qui s’exprime ainsi. Figure divine « primitive » dont l’autorité se limite au contrôle des vents, Éole n’a pas de puissance de jugement ni de décision de rapatriement (ἀποπομπή) d’Ulysse dont le droit de rentrer chez lui grâce au secours divin est défini par rapport à la θέμις. Éole se contente de respecter la volonté des dieux à l’égard du héros et les injonctions qui lui ont été faites via les signes divins. Tant que les dieux s'opposent au retour d'Ulysse, ainsi que leur sentence s'est exprimée au moyen de la δύναμις spécifique des éléments auxquels ils commandent, à savoir les vents et l’élément aquatique, Éole n'a pas le droit (θέμις) d'aider ni de rapatrier (ἀποπέμπω) un homme haï par les Immortels ni des mortels dont les actes d'impiété sont susceptibles de nuire à la justice divine et à l'ordre cosmique.


7 Ordeal By Boiling Water

If the defendant wished to prove his innocence by this ordeal, a priest would bless a cauldron of water to turn it holy. This holy water would then be brought to almost the boiling point. A stone would be placed inside the cauldron at a depth determined by the severity of the crime. The depth was up to the wrist for minor offenses and up to the elbow for severe crimes.

The accused had to grab the stone out of the hot water. This whole process would take place in a church where the presence of God was believed to reveal the truth. Three days later, the wound would be checked by the priest. If it had healed, then the accused was innocent. If it had festered, then he was guilty of the charges. [4]


Contents

The first mention of scaphism is Plutarch's description of the execution of Mithridates:

[The king] decreed that Mithridates should be put to death in boats which execution is after the following manner: Taking two boats framed exactly to fit and answer each other, they lay down in one of them the malefactor that suffers, upon his back then, covering it with the other, and so setting them together that the head, hands, and feet of him are left outside, and the rest of his body lies shut up within, they offer him food, and if he refuse to eat it, they force him to do it by pricking his eyes then, after he has eaten, they drench him with a mixture of milk and honey, pouring it not only into his mouth, but all over his face. They then keep his face continually turned towards the sun and it becomes completely covered up and hidden by the multitude of flies that settle on it. And as within the boats he does what those that eat and drink must needs do, creeping things and vermin spring out of the corruption and rottenness of the excrement, and these entering into the bowels of him, his body is consumed. When the man is manifestly dead, the uppermost boat being taken off, they find his flesh devoured, and swarms of such noisome creatures preying upon and, as it were, growing to his inwards. In this way Mithridates, after suffering for seventeen days, at last expired.

The 12th-century Byzantine chronicler Joannes Zonaras later described the punishment, based on Plutarch:

The Persians outvie all other barbarians in the horrid cruelty of their punishments, employing tortures that are peculiarly terrible and long-drawn, namely the 'boats' and sewing men up in raw hides. But what is meant by the 'boats,' I must now explain for the benefit of less well informed readers. Two boats are joined together one on top of the other, with holes cut in them in such a way that the victim's head, hands, and feet only are left outside. Within these boats the man to be punished is placed lying on his back, and the boats then nailed together with bolts. Next they pour a mixture of milk and honey into the wretched man's mouth, till he is filled to the point of nausea, smearing his face, feet, and arms with the same mixture, and so leave him exposed to the sun. This is repeated every day, the effect being that flies, wasps, and bees, attracted by the sweetness, settle on his face and all such parts of him as project outside the boats, and miserably torment and sting the wretched man. Moreover his belly, distended as it is with milk and honey, throws off liquid excrements, and these putrefying breed swarms of worms, intestinal and of all sorts. Thus the victim lying in the boats, his flesh rotting away in his own filth and devoured by worms, dies a lingering and horrible death.


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Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement - History

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE POLYGRAPH

Since the dawn of civilization, mankind has sought ways to distinguish truthfulness from deception in those individuals suspected of criminal wrongdoing. Various inventive techniques for the verification of truth and the detection of deception have been tried over the centuries, many of these being ridiculous and barbaric. Despite their primitiveness, each technique was based on the assumption that some form of physiological reaction occurred within a person when confronted with certain stimuli regarding an event under investigation, and that this physiological reaction would, in turn, be manifested in certain recognizable external symptoms that were indicative of honesty or deception.

ANCIENT JUDICIAL METHODS FOR THE DETECTION OF DECEPTION

Ancient judicial methods for the detection of deception were based on religious faith and superstition. These methods consisted of trial by combat, trial by ordeal, or trial by torture.

TRIAL BY COMBAT

In a trial by combat, physical strength was used to resolve a dispute between two individuals. They would engage in a single battle wherein the outcome was based on divine judgment. It was believed that God would not allow the guilty to prosper and would, therefore, give victory to the person with the truth on his side. In cases where the accused was unfit to fight, for example, when a child, a woman, or a person disabled by age or infirmity was accused, they had the right to nominate a champion to fight on their behalf.

TRIAL BY ORDEAL

In a trial by ordeal, it was believed once again that God would intervene and protect the innocent by performing a miracle on their behalf. The following are some examples of a trial by ordeal.

ORDEAL OF FIRE — ANCIENT PERSIA — CIRCA 500 BC

Typically, the ordeal of fire required the accused to walk barefoot a certain distance (approximately 10 feet) over red-hot ploughshares or to hold a red-hot iron bar, after which the feet or the hands were bandaged and re-examined three days later by a priest. If God had intervened to heal the burns, the innocence of the accused was established. If the injury was festering, the accused was judged to be guilty and was either exiled or executed.

ORDEAL OF RICE CHEWING — ANCIENT CHINA — CIRCA 500 BC

In the ordeal of rice chewing, the suspect was made to chew on a handful of dry rice while being questioned and then told to spit it out after a certain amount of time. The rice was then examined. If the rice came out easy enough and was moist, the suspect was judged innocent. If the Gods made the rice dry and it stuck to the person’s mouth when they tried to spit it out, they were accused of lying and judged guilty. This result was based more on physiological reactions to stress and less on divine intervention. It was believed that stress caused by fear of detection slowed down the flow of saliva, thus causing the suspect to have a dry mouth.

ORDEAL OF THE SACRED ASS — ANCIENT INDIA — CIRCA 500 BC

The ordeal of the sacred ass involved a psychological test for detecting deception and not a physiological one. Before trial, priests placed a donkey in a pitch-dark tent and coated its tail with lamp black, a very fine black soot. Crime suspects were brought to the tent and told that the donkey inside was a "sacred ass" and would bray whenever a liar or guilty person pulled on its tail. Suspects did not know that the priests had previously coated the donkey’s tail with lamp black.

One at a time, each suspect was instructed to enter the pitch-dark tent and pull on the tail of the sacred ass to determine their innocence or guilt of the crime in question. Having nothing to fear, the innocent person would go in and pull on the donkey's tail, confident that it would not bray. As a result, their hands would be covered in lamp black when they exited the tent. Upon examination of their hands, it was evident to the priests that the suspect had, indeed, pulled on the donkey’s tail as instructed and was therefore judged to be truthful.

The guilty person would go in the tent and, avoiding any chance of the donkey braying and revealing his or her guilt, they would stand there for a few moments and then exit the tent without ever pulling on the donkey’s tail. When the suspect emerged from the tent with clean hands, free of lamp black, the priests knew that he or she had not pulled on the donkey’s tail as directed and was therefore judged to be guilty of the crime.

TRIAL BY TORTURE

Trial by torture can be traced back to the Roman and Greek Empires, the most well-known era being that of the Spanish Inquisition. During this unsophisticated age, physical torture was the primary means of lie detecting. Torture techniques were many and various. By no means reliable, even a truthful person would confess to a crime if tortured for a long enough time.

Polygraphy — the science of truth verification based upon psychophysiological analogues — is barely 100 years old. The following is a timeline of selected events which led up to the birth of the polygraph instrument and Polygraphy as we know it today.

British novelist Daniel Defoe writes an essay entitled "An Effectual Scheme for the Immediate Preventing of Street Robberies and Suppressing all Other Disorders of the Night", wherein he recommends that taking the pulse of a "suspicious fellow" is a practical, effective, and humane method for distinguishing truthfulness from lying. Defoe’s is an early and insightful suggestion to employ medical science in the fight against crime.

Although not for the purpose of detecting deception, German physician and physiologist Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig invents what he calls a "kymographion", a device with the ability to record changes in arterial blood pressure and respiration simultaneously so that he can draw conclusions about the correlation between external respiration and the circulatory system. Ludwig’s kymographion records these physiological variables in graphical form using a metal stylus that marks a rotating drum wrapped with a sheet of smoked paper.

The kymographion not only changes the everyday work of physiologists, but other sciences benefit from it as well. Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig is credited for the invention of one of the most acclaimed apparatuses for quantitative measurement.

Science first comes to the aid of the truthseeker through the research of Italian physiologist Angelo Mosso. Mosso uses an instrument called a "plethysmograph" in his research on emotion and fear in subjects during questioning, and he studies the effects of these variables on their cardiovascular and respiratory activity. Mosso studies blood circulation and breathing patterns and how these change under certain stimuli. The use of the plethysmograph reveals periodic undulations or waves in a subject’s blood pressure caused by the respiratory cycle in response to certain stimuli. Angelo Mosso is the first scientist to report on experiments in which he observes that a person’s breathing pattern changes under certain stimuli and that this change, in turn, causes variations in their blood pressure and pulse rate.

The polygraph instrument was in existence, in its most basic design, as early as 1892. It was then that Sir James Mackenzie, a heart surgeon of London, England, constructed the clinical polygraph. Not intended for detecting deception in individuals, he used this instrument when giving medical examinations as it had the capability to record simultaneously undulated line tracings of the vascular pulses (radial, venous and arterial), by way of a metal stylus on to a rotating drum of smoked paper.

Until the end of the 19th century, no measuring device for the detection of deception is ever used. The first use of a scientific instrument designed to measure physiological responses for this purpose occurs in 1895 when Italian physician, psychiatrist and pioneer criminologist Cesare Lombroso modifies an existing instrument called a "hydrosphygmograph" and uses this modified device in his experiments to measure the physiological changes that occurs in a crime suspect’s blood pressure and pulse rate during the course of a police interrogation.

Notably, Lombroso’s early device for measuring pulse rate and blood pressure is similar to the cardiosphygmograph component of the contemporary polygraph. Although Lombroso did not invent the hydrosphygmograph, he is accorded the distinction of being the first person to use the instrument successfully as a means for determining truthfulness from deception in crime suspects. On several occasions, he uses the hydrosphygmograph in actual cases to assist the police in the identification of criminals.

Sir James Mackenzie, M.D., refines his clinical polygraph of 1892 when he devises the clinical ink polygraph with the help of Lancashire watchmaker, Mr Sebastian Shaw. This improved instrument uses a clockwork mechanism for the paper-rolling and time-marker movements, and it produces ink recordings of physiological functions that are easier to acquire and to interpret.

Although not for the purpose of detecting deception in suspects, Dr Mackenzie’s ink polygraph is the first-known instrument that contains the essential features of the present-day instruments, and its construction is based on precisely the same principles. It is written that the modern polygraph is fundamentally a modification of Dr Mackenzie’s clinical ink polygraph.

Italian psychologist Vittorio Benussi discovers 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. Using a "pneumograph", a device that records a subject’s breathing patterns, Benussi conducts comprehensive experiments on the respiratory symptoms of lying. He concludes that lying causes an emotional change within a person that results in detectable respiratory changes that are indicative of deception.

Dr William Moulton Marston, a lawyer and psychologist, discovers a correspondence between telling a lie and a rise in a person's blood pressure. He develops the Discontinuous Systolic Blood Pressure Test and invents an early form of the polygraph when he builds a device with the capacity to measure changes in a person’s blood pressure. Dr Marston’s technique uses a standard blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope to take intermittent systolic blood pressure readings of a suspect during questioning for the purpose of detecting deception.

Dr Marston’s discontinuous systolic blood pressure test later becomes one component of the modern polygraph.

John A. Larson, a police officer with the Berkeley Police Department with a Ph.D. in physiology, builds on the work of Dr William Moulton Marston and develops what many consider to be the original "lie detector" when he adds the item of respiration rate to that of blood pressure. Larson's instrument provides continuous readings of these physiological responses rather than discontinuous readings of the sort found in Dr Marston’s device. Larson calls his instrument a "cardio-pneumo psychograph", which later becomes known as a "polygraph", a word derived from the Greek language meaning "many writings" since it could read several physiological responses at the same time and record these responses on a rolling drum of smoked paper for future analysis and evaluation.

Using his polygraph, John A. Larson is the first person to continuously and simultaneously measure changes in a subject’s pulse rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate during questioning. His polygraph is used extensively, and with much success, in police investigations at the Berkeley Police Department.

Leonarde Keeler, who gains firsthand experience in polygraph interrogations as a result of working with John A. Larson at the Berkeley Police Department, works to devise a polygraph that uses "inked pens" for recording the relative changes in blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory activity, thus eliminating the need for smoking the paper and having to preserve it with shellac.

The Keeler Polygraph comes on the market as the "new-and-improved" lie detector, an enhanced version of John A. Larson’s polygraph.

Leonarde Keeler further refines the Keeler Polygraph when he adds a third physiological measuring component for the detection of deception — the psychogalvanometer — a component that measures changes in a subject’s galvanic skin resistance during questioning. In doing so, Keeler marks the birth of the polygraph as we know it today.

Leonarde Keeler patents what is now understood as the prototype of the modern polygraph — the Keeler Polygraph. Today, Leonarde Keeler is known as the "Father of Polygraph".

John E. Reid, a lawyer from Chicago, develops the "Control Question Technique" (CQT), a polygraph technique that incorporates control questions that are designed to be emotionally arousing for truthful subjects and less emotionally arousing for deceptive subjects than the relevant questions. The Reid Control Question Technique is a breakthrough in polygraph methodology and it continues to be the polygraph technique that is used by most examiners today. Reid’s CQT replaces the "Relevant/Irrelevant Question Technique" (RIT), a technique which uses relevant or irrelevant questions during a polygraph examination.

Leonarde Keeler opens the world’s first polygraph school — the Keeler Polygraph Institute, in Chicago.

Richard O. Arther experiments with two pneumographs and finds there is a difference between the thoracic and the abdominal pattern about 33% of the time. By utilizing two pneumograph channels, the best recordings of the respiratory changes would always be recorded.

Arther also experiments with the use of Galvanic Skin Response automatic and manual modes and finds there is not a significant difference between the two.

Cleve Backster, building upon the Reid Control Question Technique, develops the "Backster Zone Comparison Technique" (ZCT), a polygraph technique which primarily involves an alteration of the Reid question sequencing.

Cleve Backster also introduces a quantification system of chart analysis, making it more objective and scientific than before. His system for the numerical evaluation of the physiological data collected from the polygraph charts is standard procedure in the field of Polygraphy today.

The study of the use of computers in the physiological detection of deception progresses through several phases.

Dr Joseph F. Kubis, of Fordham University in New York City, is the first researcher to use potential computer applications for the purpose of polygraph chart analysis.

Research is conducted on computerized polygraph at the University of Utah Psychology Laboratory by Drs John C. Kircher and David C. Raskin.

Drs John C. Kircher and David C. Raskin develop the "Computer Assisted Polygraph System" (CAPS), which incorporates the first algorithm used for evaluating physiological data collected for diagnostic purposes.

At Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Dr Dale E. Olsen, assisted by Mr John C. Harris, completes a software program called "POLYSCORE". The program implements an algorithm-based chart-scoring system to analyze the polygraph data collected and to estimate a statistical probability of deception in a subject after questioning.

Polygraph makes its formal entrance into the computer age.

POLYSCORE Version 5.1 analyzes the data from polygraph examinations administered in 1,411 real-life criminal cases provided by the United States Department of Defence Polygraph Institute for study and comparison purposes.

Validated algorithms exceed 98 percent in their accuracy to quantify, analyze, and evaluate the physiological data collected from polygraph examinations administered in real-life criminal cases.

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) commissions a review committee of The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the scientific evidence on the polygraph. In this endeavour, the Committee sifts through existing evidence in the polygraph research literature and does not conduct any new laboratory or field research on polygraph testing for, as they report:

"Real-world conditions are difficult — if not impossible — to replicate in a mock-crime setting or a laboratory environment for the purpose of assessing polygraph effectiveness."

The Review Committee of The National Academy of Sciences concludes that, although there may be alternative techniques to polygraph testing, none can outperform the polygraph, nor do any of these yet show promise of supplanting the polygraph in the near future.

Present Day

Polygraph examinations or psychophysiological credibility assessments are used in more than 50 countries around the world by government organizations, law enforcement agencies, the legal community, the corporate sector, and private citizens.

Withstanding more than a century of research, development, and widespread use, the polygraph examination remains the most effective means of verifying the truth and detecting deception.


Why did the Anglo Saxons used trial by ordeal?

Click here to know more about it. Also, what was the purpose of trial by ordeal?

Trial by ordeal was an ancient judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused was determined by subjecting them to a painful, or at least an unpleasant, usually dangerous experience. The test was one of life or death, and the proof of innocence was survival.

Likewise, who started trial by ordeal? The Anglo-Saxons used trial by ordeal to determine proof through the Judgement of God, the Judicium Dei. The two main types of ordeal are explored, trial by hot iron and trial by water. Harry Potter then discusses with legal historian John Hudson why people were chosen to be subjected to ordeal.

Regarding this, why was trial by ordeal used in c1000 c1200?

The medieval trial by ordeal was a method that relied on divine intervention to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused, which in the parlance of the Catholic Church was called iudicium Dei, or divine intervention.

How did trials change after 1215?

In 1215, the Pope decided that priests in England must not help with ordeals. As a result, ordeals were replaced by trials by juries. To start with, these were not popular with the people as they felt that their neighbours might have a grudge against them and use the opportunity of a trial to get their revenge.


1 Field Punishment Number One

When flogging was abolished in the British army in 1881, officials had to think of new ways to mete out justice to those who were guilty of minor offenses such as drunkenness. One form of discipline was the strangely named Field Punishment Number One, which was used until 1920.

The offender was tied up for several hours a day&mdashsometimes to a wheel or post&mdashwith a military officer checking his posture every so often. During World War I, however, Field Punishment Number One was more than just mild humiliation. As one record from Private Frank Bastable demonstrated, this punishment could be life-threatening:

When on parade for rifle inspection, after opening the bolts and closing them again the second time as it did not suit the officer the first time, I accidentally let off a round. I had to go before the CO and got No. 1 Field Punishment. I was tied up against a wagon by ankles and wrists for two hours a day, one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon in the middle of winter and under shellfire.


Watch the video: Trial By Combat (May 2022).