Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3045 (es) To improve the quality, timeliness, and credibility of forensic science services for criminal justice purposes, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

S. 3045 (es) To improve the quality, timeliness, and credibility of forensic science services for criminal justice purposes, and for other purposes. [Engrossed in Senate] ...

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        (7) in more than a dozen cases, post-conviction DNA testing 
    that has exonerated an innocent person has also enhanced public 
    safety by providing evidence that led to the apprehension of the 
    actual perpetrator;
        (8) experience has shown that it is not unduly burdensome to 
    make DNA testing available to inmates in appropriate cases;
        (9) under current Federal and State law, it is difficult to 
    obtain post-conviction DNA testing because of time limits on 
    introducing newly discovered evidence;
        (10) the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence, a 
    Federal panel established by the Department of Justice and 
    comprised of law enforcement, judicial, and scientific experts, has 
    urged that post-conviction DNA testing be permitted in the 
    relatively small number of cases in which it is appropriate, 
    notwithstanding procedural rules that could be invoked to preclude 
    such testing, and notwithstanding the inability of an inmate to pay 
    for the testing;
        (11) only a few States have adopted post-conviction DNA testing 
        (12) States have received millions of dollars in DNA-related 
    grants, and more funding is needed to improve State forensic 
    facilities and to reduce the nationwide backlog of DNA samples from 
    convicted offenders and crime scenes that need to be tested or 
    retested using upgraded methods;
        (13) States that accept such financial assistance should not 
    deny the promise of truth and justice for both sides of our 
    adversarial system that DNA testing offers;
        (14) post-conviction DNA testing and other post-conviction 
    investigative techniques have shown that innocent people have been 
    sentenced to death in this country;
        (15) a constitutional error in capital cases is incompetent 
    defense lawyers who fail to present important evidence that the 
    defendant may have been innocent or does not deserve to be 
    sentenced to death; and
        (16) providing quality representation to defendants facing loss 
    of liberty or life is essential to fundamental due process and the 
    speedy final resolution of judicial proceedings.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
        (1) Congress should condition forensic science-related grants 
    to a State or State forensic facility on the State's agreement to 
    ensure post-conviction DNA testing in appropriate cases; and
        (2) Congress should work with the States to improve the quality 
    of legal representation in capital cases through the establishment 
    of standards that will assure the timely appointment of competent 
    counsel with adequate resources to represent defendants in capital 
    cases at each stage of the proceedings.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

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