OTHER HIGH PROFILE CASES > Luke Mitchell and the murder of Jodi Jones

DNA evidence in Scotland

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sandra L:
Professor Allan Jamieson talking about the difficulties of defence teams getting access to forensic evidence in Scotland - quote

"It means scientific police evidence — including DNA samples — must be accepted as fact without scrutiny.

Scotland is the only country in the civilised world where lawyers are denied access to this key evidence."


One of the many anomalies that the rest of the world doesn't realise exist in Scots Law.

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5364587/forensics-expert-defence-lawyer-scots-dna/

WakeyWakey:

--- Quote from: sandra L on March 09, 2020, 07:10:PM ---One of the many anomalies that the rest of the world doesn't realise exist in Scots Law.


--- End quote ---

can you explain what about scot law maakes this a problem? Prof himself says (or implies) that it nothing to do with law:


--- Quote ---I’m not accusing anyone of fraud. But the system should be designed to prevent fraud. This is a matter of fairness — and not even of the law. It doesn’t even require a change in the law, no one has told the SPA not to give us these files.
--- End quote ---

WakeyWakey:
also i wonder why i guy who long been tryin to lobby for set up and lead private company / forensic institute to replace current police forensics would criticise current police forensics lol

nugnug:

--- Quote from: sandra L on March 09, 2020, 07:10:PM ---Professor Allan Jamieson talking about the difficulties of defence teams getting access to forensic evidence in Scotland - quote

"It means scientific police evidence — including DNA samples — must be accepted as fact without scrutiny.

Scotland is the only country in the civilised world where lawyers are denied access to this key evidence."


One of the many anomalies that the rest of the world doesn't realise exist in Scots Law.

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5364587/forensics-expert-defence-lawyer-scots-dna/

--- End quote ---

happens all the time in amerca so i cant see why scotland cant allow it.

sandra L:
Before I answer your questions, Wakey wakey, let me ask you a couple.

Do you believe it is right or just that critical evidence such as this, generated by the police themselves, should be taken at face value, or do you think it is only right and just that it is scrutinised by independent experts?

Which do you believe is likely to be more transparent and able to be challenged - data from a private lab which has to publish its findings, or data from a private and secret lab, funded and run by those seeking prosecutions?

They're not trick questions.

Now, to your questions.  The anomalies in Scots Law are not restricted to the written word of the law but extend far into the interpretations and applications of it, which is exactly the position Prof Jamieson describes here. There is no written law that says they can't release the information for scrutiny, but somebody, somewhere has interpreted or applied their own understanding to the situation and decided the information should not be released.

The gap between the courts and police practices is either so wide that it cannot be bridged, or so narrow that it can't be found (and sometimes it's both at the same time) - the courts are reluctant (putting it mildly) to order the release of those documents.

Quite recently, an expert who was quite happy to release his findings came back to say he'd checked and could not do so without "the prosecution's permission, since they commissioned the report" - yet the legal position is that experts are independent of either the prosecution or the defence. Either way, we still have not received the report.(The expert is not Prof Jamieson, just for clarity).

Why does Prof Jamieson advocate for independent labs? He was head of Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Lab before he quit. He hardly needs the work now - just take a look at the cases he's been involved in - your suggestion that he somehow advocated for independent labs for personal gain is ill-informed, to say the least. His concern is, and always has been, that "diluted" science is not science, period. And we all know how easy it is for secret practices to dilute science - to manipulate it for their own purposes.

Do you have any objections to independent labs, properly run and openly accountable?

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