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Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

How To Spot A Liar

CHICAGO (CN) - The 7th Circuit said it relies on the details to separate fact from fiction in thorny immigration cases where asylum seekers tell horrific tales of persecution, but lack documentary proof to back them up. Judge Easterbrook said petitioners often expose themselves as liars by recalling too many periphery details.

"Truth-tellers have normal amounts of memory failure," Easterbrook wrote, while liars tend to "remember" the minutiae. Without documentary proof, courts must dissect the details of an immigrant's story to arrive at the truth.

The court used this scrutiny of truth in rejecting Mpoyi Mitondo's claim that he escaped torture in the Congo by getting a fake passport with the help of Roman Catholic priests.

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