By Trevor Free, Marketing —
In October, German authorities began investigating whether contamination played issue in a murder case; specifically, a case where DNA was discovered that linked investigators to a Neo –Nazi site where a child’s remains were found.
DNA of the Deceased
The evidence is connected to a late member of the National Socialist Underground—a group that’s linked to 10 killings between 2000 and 2007. The man in question died in 2011 in the same state, following injuries sustained during a robbery.
Prosecutors said that the police who investigated the case, may have used the same tools at both sites—the Neo-nazi location, as well as the scene of the man’s death.
This discovery highlights an issue that has always been prevalent in a scrutinized justice system—the validity of evidence discovery vis-a-vis officials that are part of the justice system. Legal evidence discovery can be a difficult issue for both the accused, and the accuser, to grapple with. For the accused, there is always the potential of a societal presumption of guilt based on circumstance, even if the evidence is contaminated. For the accuser, there is a potential for others to assume that they cut corners in their investigation to bring about justice speedily.
In this particular situation, police officers could volunteer to be polygraphed to resolve any doubts about whether the tools were the same, or as to how the evidence was obtained. However, polygraphs can be inaccurate, or inefficient, and cause more confusion or doubt in an already complicated legal process.
Luckily, technological developments in the field of lie detection are starting to bring exciting possibilities to the table. One in particular, EyeDetect, is a software based lie detector which analyzes a subjects truthfulness based on pupil dilation. Developed by a Converus, a Utah company,
EyeDetect boasts results that are more accurate and efficient than a standard polygraph, and can be administered by the layman. EyeDetect is already used by several police departments in the US for lie detection and screening purposes.
The truth can, at times, be difficult to determine. However, with the advent of new lie-detection technologies, clarity is perhaps not as far off as imagined.