The Texas Rangers has ceased its use of a controversial investigation technique, hypnosis, after an investigation exposed the failings of such a practice in this application. A Dallas Morning news article from March 11th. reports:
“A department spokesman said the hypnosis program ended in January 2021, more than forty years after its inception, because its officers are now relying on better investigative practices. The decision comes less than a year after The Dallas Morning News published a two-part series, ‘The Memory Room,‘ which raised serious questions about the efficacy of using hypnosis on criminal cases. The News investigation found Texas built one of the most prolific programs for police hypnosis in the country, repeatedly doubling down on the practice despite scientific evidence that hypnosis can distort witness memories and lead to false convictions.”
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court refused to take up a death row case from Texas that involved the use of hypnosis according to a separate Dallas Morning News article from January 25th. In it they say:
“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a Texas death row inmate who argued that hypnosis helped convict him of murder.
The decision was a blow to inmate Charles Don Flores, who was sentenced to death for the murder of Farmers Branch resident Elizabeth “Betty” Black in 1998. It was also a setback for critics of the use of hypnosis by Texas law enforcement officers, who had hoped the Supreme Court would rule that investigative hypnosis is junk science that has no place in U.S. courts”
Despite the lack of the High Court’s involvement, the controversial practice has come to an end here in Texas.