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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        S.3045

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
To improve the quality, timeliness, and credibility of forensic science 
     services for criminal justice purposes, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Paul Coverdell National Forensic 
Sciences Improvement Act of 2000''.
SEC. 2. IMPROVING THE QUALITY, TIMELINESS, AND CREDIBILITY OF FORENSIC 
SCIENCE SERVICES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE PURPOSES.
    (a) Description of Drug Control and System Improvement Grant 
Program.--Section 501(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and 
Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 375(b)) is amended--
        (1) in paragraph (25), by striking ``and'' at the end;
        (2) in paragraph (26), by striking the period at the end and 
    inserting ``; and''; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(27) improving the quality, timeliness, and credibility of 
forensic science services for criminal justice purposes.''.
    (b) State Applications.--Section 503(a) of title I of the Omnibus 
Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3753(a)) is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(13) If any part of the amount received from a grant under this 
part is to be used to improve the quality, timeliness, and credibility 
of forensic science services for criminal justice purposes, a 
certification that, as of the date of enactment of this paragraph, the 
State, or unit of local government within the State, has an 
established--
        ``(A) forensic science laboratory or forensic science 
    laboratory system, that--
            ``(i) employs 1 or more full-time scientists--
                ``(I) whose principal duties are the examination of 
            physical evidence for law enforcement agencies in criminal 
            matters; and
                ``(II) who provide testimony with respect to such 
            physical evidence to the criminal justice system;
            ``(ii) employs generally accepted practices and procedures, 
        as established by appropriate accrediting organizations; and
            ``(iii) is accredited by the Laboratory Accreditation Board 
        of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors or the 
        National Association of Medical Examiners, or will use a 
        portion of the grant amount to prepare and apply for such 
        accreditation by not later than 2 years after the date on which 
        a grant is initially awarded under this paragraph; or
        ``(B) medical examiner's office (as defined by the National 
    Association of Medical Examiners) that--
            ``(i) employs generally accepted practices and procedures, 
        as established by appropriate accrediting organizations; and
            ``(ii) is accredited by the Laboratory Accreditation Board 
        of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors or the 
        National Association of Medical Examiners, or will use a 
        portion of the grant amount to prepare and apply for such 
        accreditation by not later than 2 years after the date on which 
        a grant is initially awarded under this paragraph.''.
    (c) Paul Coverdell Forensic Sciences Improvement Grants.--
        (1) In general.--Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
    Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended by adding 
    at the end the following:

     ``PART BB--PAUL COVERDELL FORENSIC SCIENCES IMPROVEMENT GRANTS

``SEC. 2801. GRANT AUTHORIZATION.

    ``The Attorney General shall award grants to States in accordance 
with this part.

``SEC. 2802. APPLICATIONS.

    ``To request a grant under this part, a State shall submit to the 
Attorney General--
        ``(1) a certification that the State has developed a 
    consolidated State plan for forensic science laboratories operated 
    by the State or by other units of local government within the State 
    under a program described in section 2804(a), and a specific 
    description of the manner in which the grant will be used to carry 
    out that plan;
        ``(2) a certification that any forensic science laboratory 
    system, medical examiner's office, or coroner's office in the 
    State, including any laboratory operated by a unit of local 
    government within the State, that will receive any portion of the 
    grant amount uses generally accepted laboratory practices and 
    procedures, established by accrediting organizations; and
        ``(3) a specific description of any new facility to be 
    constructed as part of the program described in paragraph (1), and 
    the estimated costs of that facility, and a certification that the 
    amount of the grant used for the costs of the facility will not 
    exceed the limitations set forth in section 2804(c).

``SEC. 2803. ALLOCATION.

    ``(a) In General.--
        ``(1) Population allocation.--Seventy-five percent of the 
    amount made available to carry out this part in each fiscal year 
    shall be allocated to each State that meets the requirements of 
    section 2802 so that each State shall receive an amount that bears 
    the same ratio to the 75 percent of the total amount made available 
    to carry out this part for that fiscal year as the population of 
    the State bears to the population of all States.
        ``(2) Discretionary allocation.--Twenty-five percent of the 
    amount made available to carry out this part in each fiscal year 
    shall be allocated pursuant to the Attorney General's discretion to 
    States with above average rates of part 1 violent crimes based on 
    the average annual number of part 1 violent crimes reported by such 
    State to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the 3 most recent 
    calendar years for which such data is available.
        ``(3) Minimum requirement.--Each State shall receive not less 
    than 0.6 percent of the amount made available to carry out this 
    part in each fiscal year.
        ``(4) Proportional reduction.--If the amounts available to 
    carry out this part in each fiscal year are insufficient to pay in 
    full the total payment that any State is otherwise eligible to 
    receive under paragraph (3), then the Attorney General shall reduce 
    payments under paragraph (1) for such payment period to the extent 
    of such insufficiency. Reductions under the preceding sentence 
    shall be allocated among the States (other than States whose 
    payment is determined under paragraph (3)) in the same proportions 
    as amounts would be allocated under paragraph (1) without regard to 
    paragraph (3).
    ``(b) State Defined.--In this section, the term `State' means each 
of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, except that--
        ``(1) for purposes of the allocation under this section, 
    American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands 
    shall be considered as 1 State; and
        ``(2) for purposes of paragraph (1), 67 percent of the amount 
    allocated shall be allocated to American Samoa, and 33 percent 
    shall be allocated to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
    Islands.

``SEC. 2804. USE OF GRANTS.

    ``(a) In General.--A State that receives a grant under this part 
shall use the grant to carry out all or a substantial part of a program 
intended to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or 
medical examiner services in the State, including such services 
provided by the laboratories operated by the State and those operated 
by units of local government within the State.
    ``(b) Permitted Categories of Funding.--Subject to subsections (c) 
and (d), a grant awarded under this part--
        ``(1) may only be used for program expenses relating to 
    facilities, personnel, computerization, equipment, supplies, 
    accreditation and certification, education, and training; and
        ``(2) may not be used for any general law enforcement or 
    nonforensic investigatory function.
    ``(c) Facilities Costs.--
        ``(1) States receiving minimum grant amount.--With respect to a 
    State that receives a grant under this part in an amount that does 
    not exceed 0.6 percent of the total amount made available to carry 
    out this part for a fiscal year, not more than 80 percent of the 
    total amount of the grant may be used for the costs of any new 
    facility constructed as part of a program described in subsection 
    (a).
        ``(2) Other states.--With respect to a State that receives a 
    grant under this part in an amount that exceeds 0.6 percent of the 
    total amount made available to carry out this part for a fiscal 
    year--
            ``(A) not more than 80 percent of the amount of the grant 
        up to that 0.6 percent may be used for the costs of any new 
        facility constructed as part of a program described in 
        subsection (a); and
            ``(B) not more than 40 percent of the amount of the grant 
        in excess of that 0.6 percent may be used for the costs of any 
        new facility constructed as part of a program described in 
        subsection (a).
    ``(d) Administrative Costs.--Not more than 10 percent of the total 
amount of a grant awarded under this part may be used for 
administrative expenses.

``SEC. 2805. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.

    ``(a) Regulations.--The Attorney General may promulgate such 
guidelines, regulations, and procedures as may be necessary to carry 
out this part, including guidelines, regulations, and procedures 
relating to the submission and review of applications for grants under 
section 2802.
    ``(b) Expenditure Records.--
        ``(1) Records.--Each State, or unit of local government within 
    the State, that receives a grant under this part shall maintain 
    such records as the Attorney General may require to facilitate an 
    effective audit relating to the receipt of the grant, or the use of 
    the grant amount.
        ``(2) Access.--The Attorney General and the Comptroller General 
    of the United States, or a designee thereof, shall have access, for 
    the purpose of audit and examination, to any book, document, or 
    record of a State, or unit of local government within the State, 
    that receives a grant under this part, if, in the determination of 
    the Attorney General, Comptroller General, or designee thereof, the 
    book, document, or record is related to the receipt of the grant, 
    or the use of the grant amount.

``SEC. 2806. REPORTS.

    ``(a) Reports to Attorney General.--For each fiscal year for which 
a grant is awarded under this part, each State that receives such a 
grant shall submit to the Attorney General a report, at such time and 
in such manner as the Attorney General may reasonably require, which 
report shall include--
        ``(1) a summary and assessment of the program carried out with 
    the grant;
        ``(2) the average number of days between submission of a sample 
    to a forensic science laboratory or forensic science laboratory 
    system in that State operated by the State or by a unit of local 
    government and the delivery of test results to the requesting 
    office or agency; and
        ``(3) such other information as the Attorney General may 
    require.
    ``(b) Reports to Congress.--Not later than 90 days after the last 
day of each fiscal year for which 1 or more grants are awarded under 
this part, the Attorney General shall submit to the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate, a 
report, which shall include--
        ``(1) the aggregate amount of grants awarded under this part 
    for that fiscal year; and
        ``(2) a summary of the information provided under subsection 
    (a).''.
        (2) Authorization of appropriations.--
            (A) In general.--Section 1001(a) of title I of the Omnibus 
        Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3753(a)) 
        is amended by adding at the end the following:
        ``(24) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out 
    part BB, to remain available until expended--
            ``(A) $35,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
            ``(B) $85,400,000 for fiscal year 2002;
            ``(C) $134,733,000 for fiscal year 2003;
            ``(D) $128,067,000 for fiscal year 2004;
            ``(E) $56,733,000 for fiscal year 2005; and
            ``(F) $42,067,000 for fiscal year 2006.''.
            (B) Backlog elimination.--There is authorized to be 
        appropriated $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2001 for the 
        elimination of DNA convicted offender database sample backlogs 
        and for other related purposes, as provided in the Departments 
        of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related 
        Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001.
        (3) Table of contents.--Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control 
    and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended by 
    striking the table of contents.
        (4) Repeal of 20 percent floor for cita crime lab grants.--
    Section 102(e)(2) of the Crime Identification Technology Act of 
    1998 (42 U.S.C. 14601(e)(2)) is amended--
            (A) in subparagraph (B), by adding ``and'' at the end; and
            (B) by striking subparagraph (C) and redesignating 
        subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (C).

SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION REGARDING CERTAIN CLAIMS.

    (a) In General.--Section 983(a)(2)(C)(ii) of title 18, United 
States Code, is amended by striking ``(and provide customary 
documentary evidence of such interest if available) and state that the 
claim is not frivolous''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section shall take 
effect as if included in the amendment made by section 2(a) of Public 
Law 106-185.
SEC. 4. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING THE OBLIGATION OF GRANTEE STATES TO 
ENSURE ACCESS TO POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING AND COMPETENT COUNSEL IN 
CAPITAL CASES.
    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
        (1) over the past decade, deoxyribonucleic acid testing 
    (referred to in this section as ``DNA testing'') has emerged as the 
    most reliable forensic technique for identifying criminals when 
    biological material is left at a crime scene;
        (2) because of its scientific precision, DNA testing can, in 
    some cases, conclusively establish the guilt or innocence of a 
    criminal defendant;
        (3) in other cases, DNA testing may not conclusively establish 
    guilt or innocence, but may have significant probative value to a 
    finder of fact;
        (4) DNA testing was not widely available in cases tried prior 
    to 1994;
        (5) new forensic DNA testing procedures have made it possible 
    to get results from minute samples that could not previously be 
    tested, and to obtain more informative and accurate results than 
    earlier forms of forensic DNA testing could produce, resulting in 
    some cases of convicted inmates being exonerated by new DNA tests 
    after earlier tests had failed to produce definitive results;
        (6) DNA testing can and has resulted in the post-conviction 
    exoneration of more than 75 innocent men and women, including some 
    under sentence of death;

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