Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3046 (pcs) To amend title 11 of the United States Code, and for other purposes. [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...

S. 3046 (pcs) To amend title 11 of the United States Code, and for other purposes. [Placed on Calendar Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3045


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 27, 2000

               Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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 

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