Luke Mitchell is serving a life sentence in Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire, Scotland, after he was convicted of killing a 14-year-old girl in 2003. Mitchell has maintained his innocence and recently received permission to post video of a polygraph test he took while in prison, which he believes proves his innocence and hopes will rally public support for his case, The Independent reported.
The video is being called the first ever prison-issued polygraph test to be posted online. As GeekOSystem put it:
This is no doubt an interesting milestone in the history of the legal system and Internet culture, but it leaves us wondering if this is perhaps the start of a trend in the same way that one can easily look up people’s mugshots in an online criminal database.
The nearly 17 minutes of footage posted to YouTube of the test, which was administered in April and was actually more than two hours in its entirety, shows Mitchell fitted with the polygraph equipment and being questioned by examiner Terry Mullins.
In the clip, Mullins asks Mitchell whether he ever went out of his way to harm someone physically, if he stabbed Jones in 2003, if he was present when Jones was stabbed and if he knew her body would be found, among other questions. Mitchell answered no to all of those.
Watch the footage (Note: there are some pauses after Mullins’ questions and Mitchell’s answers, presumably to allow the machine to record the response of Mitchell’s body):
The footage itself doesn’t show whether Mitchell passed the test or not. The Scottish Daily Record also reported that a polygraph test is not allowed as evidence in a case.
According to the website advocating Mitchell’s innocence, the now 24-year-old was only 14 when the murder of this then girlfriend Jodi Jones occurred. Mitchell was arrested for the crime 2004 at age 15, held under the 110-day rule during which time he turned 16 and was then allowed to be tried in court as an adult. The website states that there was no physical evidence to tie Mitchell to the crime, but The Independent reported the prosecution stating during his trial that only someone with “guilty knowledge” would have been able to find Jones’ body as quickly as he did. The Independent reported that Mitchell maintained his dog lead him to her body.
“He says he has never had anything to hide so he didn’t hesitate when he had the chance to take it,” Corrine Mitchell, Luke’s mother, said, according to The Independent. “Luke told me he believes the test is a crucial indication of his innocence to go along with other issues, such as the lack of forensic evidence linking him to the crime.”
The Daily Record though reported Jones’ family criticizing the footage.
“It doesn’t prove anything. He is a lying, cheating murderer. He’s scum,” the Daily Record reported Jones’ grandmother Alice Walker saying.
As for the video being posted online, BBC reported the Scottish Prison Service saying that while it did allow the video to be released as part of the case, it did not give permission for it to be uploaded to YouTube.