When Jay Cherry retired from the FBI after 21 years as an agent, he didn’t let his skills go to waste. Cherry had specialized in federal crime investigation and specialized in polygraph testing for eight years before his retirement in 2012. Soon after, he opened Eagle Eye Polygraph in Batavia, Illinois.
Cherry explained that it is extremely difficult to beat a polygraph test. In addition, he debunked the myth that if people believe the lies they are telling, the polygraph will register that they are telling the truth. “A sociopath does know the difference between right and wrong. They still react physiologically when they lie, they just don’t care,” he said. According to Cherry, regardless if the person believes the lie they are telling, the body will still react and show signs of being deceptive.
While sociopaths can be detected as lying through polygraph tests, one group who cannot be tested accurately is psychotics. “I can’t test you if you do not know the difference between what is real and not real,” he explained.
Though technology has become increasingly complex, Cherry says that polygraph tests still use the same basic fundamentals as were used 100 years ago. Heart rate, respiration and blood pressure are tracked and recorded using “yes” or “no” questions and testing is usually 90 – 120 minutes in length. The cost of one of these sessions can run from $250 up to $1,000.
A large portion of Cherry’s work is for the fire and police departments performing pre-employment testing. Sheriff Donald Kramer of Kane County explained that the testing gives the department additional protection when hiring candidates by verifying consistency in the answers given on the candidate’s application.
He also does work for cases in which marital infidelity is suspected. While the tests can’t measure emotions, such as if they are still in love, it can detect indicators of infidelity. He said that in cases where the test is passed, trust can be repaired between the couples.