Scots crime expert backs decision to allow polygraph tests in court


A SCOTS crime expert who has supported the Luke Mitchell case is now backing a notion to allow polygraph tests to be used in a court of law.

Dr Sandra Lean has backed convicted killer Luke Mitchell since he was imprisoned in 2005 for the murder of girlfriend Jodi Jones.

Luke has always professed his innocence that he did not murder Jodi and passed a polygraph test while serving time in Shotts prison, North Lanarkshire.

Scots crime expert back polygraph tests in court - Scottish News
Pictured: Dr Lean on the James English Podcast.

Under examination from Terry Mullins of the British Polygraph Association in 2012, Mitchell was quizzed over his whereabouts on the night of Jodi’s murder.

After the test was completed, Mullins concluded that Mitchell had been telling the truth.

Polygraph tests are currently inadmissible as evidence in Scottish courts.

Dr Lean recently shared a petition onto her Facebook page which details an attempt to allow polygraph tests to be used in court.

The petition on the government website states: “The Polygraph Test has been used since 2013 to monitor Sex Offenders by the National Probation Service.

“They are used to monitor compliance with licence conditions.

“A trial is now underway to monitor Domestic Abuse perpetrators using the same methods

Scots crime expert back polygraph tests in court - Scottish News
The petition which is currently on the Government website.

“We are asking Parliament to extend and enshrine in UK law to allow the Polygraph Test to be used as evidence in trials and appeals to determine innocence.

“We the undersigned are asking Parliament to change the law and give people justice.

“There are many people currently serving long sentences for crimes they did not commit.

“This is a way forward to prove their innocence and for justice to be served.”

Alongside her post, Sandra said: “If polygraphs are reliable enough to decide if dangerous criminals – sex offenders, no less – are safe to remain at liberty.

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Pictured: Luke Mitchell

“Then they have to be reliable enough to demonstrate the innocence of wrongly convicted people, otherwise, there are some serious double standards in place.”

Since the petition was started on Friday by Raymond Gilbert, it has been signed over 240 times as of today with an initial goal set at 10,000.

Dr Lean later replied to a comment on her social media post yesterday saying: “I’m not for a minute suggesting any decision should be made on the basis of a polygraph result alone (although it would appear that is exactly what happens with sex offenders at liberty).

“Just that it could be one more tool in the armoury of innocent people who’ve been wrongly convicted.”

Mitchell, who found Jodi’s body, was quickly accused of her murder and was convicted at the High Court in Edinburgh, aged 16.

His victim was just 14 when her naked and mutilated body was discovered behind a wall in a wooded area near her home.

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Pictured: Luke with Mum Corrine and dog Mia.

Judge Lord Nimmo Smith said the photos he saw of her injuries were the worst he had ever seen.

Mitchell’s attempts to appeal the decision were rejected and he’s been serving his sentence since, with the earliest chance of release being 2025.

Dr Lean has backed Luke Mitchell since he was found guilty of murder in 2005 and was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years behind bars.

She has worked closely with legal teams to help Mitchell appeal his case over the years and dedicated her career to it.

New Luke Mitchell protest announced - Scottish News
Police combed the area near Newbattle in Dalkeith in search of evidence after the grim discovery.

According to the UK Government website, polygraph tests can have a reliability of 89% with an inconclusive rate of 11% – although accuracy research has differed.

During a polygraph test, a number of sensors are attached to the body in an attempt to determine whether someone is telling the truth or being deceptive.

Physiological changes can then be used to determine whether someone is telling the truth.

The polygraph records blood pressure, pulse, respiration and skin conductivity while the subject responds to a series of questions.

A major change in any pattern, also known as a “response conflict”, is a sign a person is lying.

People have been known to have found ways to try and cheat the system by taking sedatives or using deodorant.