For Leonard Bierman, the sentencing hearing for Fred Massaro illustrated polygraphs can be a valuable — and reliable — tool in court. Massaro of Sunny Isles Beach faced sentencing in a mob case for racketeering and the murder of a woman found bound in a truck on the outskirts of the Everglades. He passed a lie detector test when asked if he killed exotic dancer Jeannette Anne Smith, whose body was found in a stereo box beneath a boat ramp. But U.S. District Court Judge Paul C. Huck dismissed the finding and sentenced Massaro to life in prison in 2002. “That’s when co-defendant Ariel Hernandez stood up in court and said, ‘Your honor, I did the woman,’ ” Bierman said. Massaro died in prison before his appeal could be heard but, for Bierman, it showed the lie detector worked. He said his findings as the examiner were consistent with the “ground truth.’’
Full disclosure -- I just used Lenny Bierman as a witness in federal court.