UK: “Sex Offenders Face Lie Detector”

BBC News reports. Excerpt:

Convicted paedophiles would face mandatory lie detector tests in parts of the UK under plans put forward by the government.

The measure is in the Management of Offenders and Sentencing Bill, which was published on Thursday.

The Home Office says 148 tests have been carried out on sex offenders since a pilot scheme began in September 2003.

The bill also contains plans to allow private companies to supervise offenders on community sentences.

The use of lie detector – or polygraph – tests has been piloted in areas across the UK, including Lancashire, Manchester, Devon and London, on volunteers.

Under the proposals, the tests would become mandatory in the pilot areas.

They could be used to help monitor behaviour, such as whether sex offenders are keeping bail conditions to stay away from schools.

The Home Office will see how the tests work in the pilot areas before deciding whether to use them nationwide.

A spokeswoman said: “Protecting the public is our priority. We have a responsibility to keep abreast of modern technological developments to see how they can help us.”

The polygraph is not a “modern technological development.” Rather, as Professor John J. Furedy has put it, it is a “technological flight of fancy” that is “founded on lies.”

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