This Week in the News…

Posted: December 20, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Dec. 15, The Washington Post

Fairfax Crosses the 1 Million Mark With a Reality Check

“Some see a need to change the county’s very form of government. Last week, supervisors initiated a study of what it would take to turn Fairfax into Virginia’s 40th city, a change that would allow it to impose new local taxes. And an elected chief executive, the thinking goes, could better set a big-picture agenda than the current 10-member Board of Supervisors. ‘Having a consensual government may not be an efficient way to lead an economy that’s producing $60 billion a year’ in goods and services, said Stephen S. Fuller, a professor of public policy at George Mason University in Fairfax.”

Wednesday, Dec. 17, The Baton Rouge Advocate

Police applicants face testing with polygraph

“Federal courts have upheld the right of local jurisdictions to exclude polygraphs from proceedings. In a 1998 opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas spoke for a U.S. Supreme Court majority when he wrote, ‘There is simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable.’ In October, a National Academy of Sciences panel released a review of literature on polygraph reliability in employment screening. Their conclusion: ‘(Polygraph) accuracy … is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee screening in federal agencies.’ George Mason University researcher Kathryn B. Laskey sat on that panel. She doesn’t advocate throwing polygraphs out the window. But law enforcement should not rely solely on test results, she said. ‘If you look at the studies, the best the polygraph community has to offer, the levels of detection are better than chance,’ Laskey said. ‘But they’re nowhere near perfect.’ So Laskey recommends the multipronged approach to employee screening that local law enforcement agencies claim to use.”

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