Police Gave George Zimmerman Voice Stress Test - FindLaw Blotter
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Police Gave George Zimmerman Voice Stress Test

George Zimmerman's defense team is growing, suggesting that he's planning for a grand jury indictment and a subsequent criminal trial. Interestingly, his new attorney has begun releasing some previously unknown facts.

Did you know that, on the night of Trayvon Martin's death, Sanford police gave George Zimmerman a voice stress test?

They did, and the results probably contributed to his release.

A voice stress test is like a polygraph, but instead of measuring heart rate and blood pressure, it looks for changes in an individual's voice patterns that are thought to suggest psychological stress. With the help of software, investigators record a suspect answering baseline questions and then compare them to answers about the case.

This technology is not unique to Sanford. The National Institute for Truth Verification, a manufacturer of the technology, claims that over 1,800 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies use their product. They also claim to have trained U.S. Military personnel.

Expert opinion is mixed, but a study commissioned by the Justice Department suggests that a voice stress test is "no better than flipping a coin." For this reason, like its cousin the polygraph, George Zimmerman's voice stress test probably wouldn't be admissible at trial. However, it can still be used in the investigatory phase.

George Zimmerman's voice stress test came out clean, according to attorney Hal Uhrig. If the Sanford Police Department is willing to spend more than $10,000 on the product, then it probably trusts its results. And those results probably corroborated what officers initially saw at the scene.

Related Resources: