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Wisconsin Supreme Court protects those on probation and parole

When individuals are subject to the terms of parole or probation, failure to abide by those terms can land offenders in jail. In Wisconsin, one of the terms of parole and probation for individuals convicted of sex crimes mandates that they must submit to lie detector tests when these tests are requested.

A recent case heard by the state Supreme Court has clarified to what extent the results of these tests can affect the rights of individuals on probation or parole. Ultimately, the court decided to uphold the rights of offenders in certain situations.

Specifically, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin, the court held that "a probationer's compelled, incriminating testimony cannot be used to prosecute new crimes, even if the probationer waived his Miranda rights before subsequent police interrogation."

This complex holding is a welcome one. It ensures that when individuals are required to submit to lie detector tests while on probation or parole, their admissions cannot be used to prosecute new crimes against them. The ruling aids in protecting the constitutional right of probationers and parolees against compelled self-incrimination.

The ruling does not eliminate the ability of law enforcement and probation officers to compel individuals to take lie detector tests. Rather, it aids individuals on parole and probation from being accused of new crimes based on admissions made during those tests.

This protection is extended to parolees and probationers, even if they have waived their Miranda rights prior to administration of the lie detector test. Given the sacred nature of the constitutional protection against self incrimination, the court has certainly acted in the best interests of Wisconsin citizens with this decision.

Source: State Bar of Wisconsin, "Miranda Waivers Don't Override Immunity for Probationer's Compelled Testimony," Joe Forward, July 19, 2012

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