After almost 20 years in the field, 48-year-old Eric “Rick” Holden of Piano is one of the leading polygradetecting enjoyed similar respect.
Last year CBS’s “Street Stories” hired Holden to test Ricky Thomas, an inmate doing a life sentence for mugging two elderly women in Sulphur Springs. Thomas had been convicted even though neither of the victims identified him and several co-workers placed him in California at the relevant time. Largely due to the efforts of CBS and Holden, Thomas was freed.
Holden, who this year became president of the American Polygraph Association, hopes to enhance the prestige and reputation of his profession. He insists that “a good, valid polygraph examination is at least 95 percent accurate,” and estimates that 90 percent of the errors on tests are examiners’ mistakes.
One key to cleaning up the profession, according to Holden, is to require polygraphed to produce the charts of their tests and defend their results. “When lawyers learn how to cross-examine polygraphed, many of my colleagues will fall like flies,” he says.