Lawyer Says MacDonald Passed Lie Detector Test
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Jeffrey MacDonald, the former Green Beret doctor serving a life prison term for the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters, passed a lie-detector test while claiming innocence, his lawyer said Wednesday.
″We want to get the truth out, that Dr. MacDonald did not murder his family,″ lawyer Dennis H. Eisman told reporters. ″He’s convinced our system eventually will vindicate him.″
David C. Raskin, a University of Utah psychology professor and polygraph expert who administered the test, said McDonald’s answers ″indicated he was truthful when he denied inflicting any of the wounds″ that led to his family’s deaths.
Raskin said MacDonald denied committing the murders or arranging to have them committed, and that the polygraph indicated that he was not lying.
Raskin said the test yielded ″a clear truthful result on all the relevant questions.″
MacDonald repeatedly has said his wife, Colette, and the couple’s two daughters, Kimberly, 5, and Kristen, 2, were killed at the family’s Fort Bragg, N.C., home by drug-crazed intruders who chanted ″Acid is groovy. Kill the pigs.″
The murders were committed Feb. 17, 1970.
MacDonald was a captain in the Army Medical Corps assigned to the Green Berets at the time of the crimes. He was accused of murder by military police but the charges later were dropped.
MacDonald was indicted in 1975 after federal prosecutors took over the investigation. A federal appeals court dismissed the charges on grounds MacDonald had been denied a speedy trial, but the Supreme Court in 1978 said that decision was premature and ordered him to stand trial.
He was convicted in 1979.
In 1980, the Supreme Court rejected MacDonald’s argument that he had been the victim of impermissible double jeopardy. And in 1982, the nation’s highest court reinstated his conviction after a federal appeals court again ruled in his favor on the speedy-trial issue.
The Supreme Court in 1983 refused to hear arguments that the jury at MacDonald’s trial did not have the opportunity to hear fully from a witness.
Eisman filed MacDonald’s latest appeal with the high court last March, arguing that the government withheld important evidence and alleging other fair-trial violations.
That appeal still is pending, and Eisman characterized MacDonald’s chances of winning Supreme Court review as ″better than average.″
But the lie-detector test results, paid for by people Eisman called ″friends of Dr. MacDonald’s,″ will play no part in the high court’s consideration of the appeal.
MacDonald, 42, will become eligible for parole in 1991. Eisman said no other legal action is planned at this time if the Supreme Court rejects the pending appeal.