EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Would I Lie to You? Convicted Man to Take Polygraph on British TV?

Polygraph, or lie detector evidence is generally inadmissible in court.  In England, however, Kevin Dunn, convicted of killing Dawn Walker and setting her body alight, is trying a different tactic months after he was denied permission to appeal by a Court of Appeals judge.

According to Dunn's sister, her brother might take a lie detector test as part of a documentary called True Crime, which will try to exonerate convicted criminals; the doc might eventually air on a British station such as the BBC.  If the doc is successful, perhaps it will lead to Dunn being exonerated.  There is some precedent out there for an advocacy piece of filmmaking resulting in a convict being exonerated.  In Errol Morris' documentary The Thin Blue Line, he claimed that Randall Adams was wrongfully convicted of murder.  The doc resulted in Adams' case being re-opened, and, ultimately, his exoneration. 

Of course, if Dunn is successful, this leads to the question of whether people convicted of crimes might attempt similarly to take televised lie detector tests to win in the court of public opinion, if not in the court of law.



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