| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 3131 (is) To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure that the [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 3131 (is) To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure that the [Introduced in Senate] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 3130 To provide for post-conviction DNA testing, to facilitate the exchange by law enforcement agencies of DNA identification information relating to felony offenders, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 28 (legislative day, September 22), 2000 Mr. Hatch (for himself, Mr. Lott, Mr. Nickles, Mr. Mack, Mr. McCain, Mr. Grassley, Mr. Thurmond, Mr. Kyl, Mr. Abraham, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Smith of New Hampshire, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Ms. Collins, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Helms, Mr. Santorum, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Warner, Mr. Inhofe, Ms. Snowe, Mr. Allard, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Grams, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Hutchinson, and Mr. Frist) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for post-conviction DNA testing, to facilitate the exchange by law enforcement agencies of DNA identification information relating to felony offenders, 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; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Criminal Justice Integrity and Law Enforcement Assistance Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Findings. TITLE I--POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING IN FEDERAL COURT Sec. 101. Post-conviction DNA testing. Sec. 102. Repeal. TITLE II--CONVICTED OFFENDER DNA INDEX SYSTEM Sec. 201. Short title. Sec. 202. Elimination of convicted offender DNA backlog. Sec. 203. Elimination of State and local unsolved casework DNA backlog. Sec. 204. Elimination of FBI unsolved casework DNA backlog. Sec. 205. Missing persons database. Sec. 206. DNA identification of Federal, District of Columbia, and military felony offenders. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) In the last decade, deoxyribonucleic acid testing (referred to in this Act as ``DNA testing'') has emerged as the most reliable forensic technique for identifying criminals when biological evidence of the crime is obtained. DNA testing ``has been acknowledged by the courts as well as the national scientific community for its extraordinary degree of accuracy in matching cellular material to individuals''. Commonwealth v. Brison, 618 A.2d 420 (S. Ct. Pa. 1992). (2) In many cases, DNA testing of biological evidence can reveal relevant evidence of a crime, and in a narrow class of cases, it can conclusively prove the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant. In many other cases, however, DNA testing can provide only inconclusive or irrelevant evidence. (3) While DNA testing is standard in pretrial investigations in every State today, it was not widely available prior to the early 1990's. In addition, new DNA testing technologies have been developed that can accurately examine minute samples and obtain more discriminating results than earlier forms of DNA testing. (4) DNA testing is possible on biological evidence that is more than a decade old. Because biological evidence, such as semen or hair from a rape, is often preserved by authorities years after trial, it has become possible to submit preserved biological evidence to DNA testing. In cases that were tried before DNA technology existed, and in which biological evidence was preserved after conviction, post-conviction testing is feasible. (5) Even within this narrow class of cases that occurred before DNA technology existed, and in which biological evidence was preserved, post-conviction testing is appropriate only if the identity of the perpetrator was an issue at trial, and DNA testing has the potential to exonerate the defendant of the crime for which he was convicted of beyond a reasonable doubt. To authorize post-conviction testing in a broader category of cases would lead to a waste of scarce prosecutorial and judicial resources without increasing the likelihood of determining whether an innocent person was wrongfully convicted. (6) Several States, including Illinois, New York, and Arizona, have enacted statutes that authorize post-conviction DNA testing. The Illinois statute has worked particularly well, as Illinois has the most post-conviction DNA exonerations in the Nation. As the cases interpreting these statutes make clear, post-conviction DNA testing is authorized only in cases in which testing has the potential to exonerate a defendant. For example, in People v. Savory, 722, N.E.2d 220, 224 (Ill. 1999), the court, after an exhaustive examination of the Illinois post-conviction DNA testing statute, concluded that ``the legislature intended to provide a process of total vindication...[I]n using the term `actual innocence', the legislature intended to limit the scope of the [Illinois statute], allowing for scientific testing only where it has the potential to exonerate a defendant.''. In Savory, the court denied post-conviction testing because ``although DNA testing carries the possibility of weakening the State's original case against defendant, it does not have the potential to prove him innocent''. (7) Because DNA testing is standard in pretrial investigations in every State today, the issue of post- conviction DNA testing involves only a narrow class of cases prosecuted before DNA technology existed. In the near future, the need for post-conviction DNA testing will cease because of the availability of pretrial testing with advanced technologies. (8) In the last decade, post-conviction DNA testing has exonerated innocent persons who were wrongly convicted in trials that occurred before DNA testing existed. In some of these cases, the post-conviction DNA testing that exonerated a wrongly convicted person also provided evidence that led to the apprehension of the actual perpetrator. (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. In 38 States, motions for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence must be made not later than 2 years after the date of conviction. In some States, such motions must be made not later than 30 days after the date of conviction. Under Federal law, such a motion must be made not later than 3 years after the date of conviction. These time limits are based on the fact that evidence becomes less reliable after the passage of time and, as a result, it is difficult to prosecute criminal cases years after the crime occurred. (10) The time limits on introducing newly discovered evidence should not bar post-conviction DNA testing in appropriate cases because DNA testing can produce accurate results on biological evidence that is more than a decade old. Unlike other evidence, the results of DNA testing are not necessarily less reliable after the passage of time. (11) Once post-conviction DNA testing is performed, the results of such testing should be considered as newly discovered evidence by the courts. If post-conviction testing produces exculpatory evidence, the defendant should be allowed to move for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, notwithstanding the time limits on such motions applicable to other forms of newly discovered evidence. In addition, courts should weigh motions for a new trial based on post-conviction DNA testing results under the established precedents for motions for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. (12) In 1994, Congress passed the DNA Identification Act, which authorized the construction of the Combined DNA Index System (referred to in this section as ``CODIS''). CODIS is a national database that allows Federal and State law enforcement agencies to submit, retrieve, and compare DNA profiles of convicted offenders and DNA profiles of evidence from crime scenes. (13) Every State has a law that requires certain convicted offenders to provide DNA samples. These convicted offender DNA samples must be analyzed before the DNA profiles can be placed in the CODIS database. DNA profiles of evidence from crime scenes are also placed in CODIS. (14) When DNA evidence is gathered from a crime scene, law enforcement authorities can use CODIS in 2 ways. First, authorities can compare the DNA evidence to the convicted offender profiles in CODIS. If there is a match between the DNA evidence and the DNA profile of a convicted offender, authorities will obtain the identity of the suspected perpetrator. Second, if there is not a match in the convicted offender profiles, authorities can compare the DNA evidence to the DNA profiles of evidence from other crime scenes. If there is a match between the DNA evidence and the DNA profiles from other unsolved crimes, authorities can link 2 or more crimes together. (15) DNA samples must be analyzed by accredited laboratories before the samples can be placed in CODIS. Unfortunately, there is a nationwide backlog of approximately 700,000 unanalyzed convicted offender DNA samples and unanalyzed DNA evidence from unsolved crimes. Authorities estimate that at least 600 felonies will be solved by eliminating the backlog of convicted offender DNA samples alone. Congress should provide financial assistance to the States to analyze DNA samples and evidence and expedite their inclusion in CODIS. (16) While every State has a law that requires certain convicted offenders to provide DNA samples, the Federal Government does not collect DNA samples from offenders convicted of Federal crimes, United States military crimes, or crimes under the law of the District of Columbia. Congress should pass legislation that requires anyone convicted of a felony under Federal law, United States military law, or the law of the District of Columbia to provide a DNA sample for inclusion in CODIS. TITLE I--POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING IN FEDERAL COURT SEC. 101. POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING. (a) Federal Criminal Procedure.-- (1) In general.--Part II of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 228 the following: ``CHAPTER 228A--POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING ``Sec. ``3600. DNA testing. ``3600A. Prohibition on destruction of biological material. ``Sec. 3600. DNA testing ``(a) Motion.--During the 30-month period beginning on the date of enactment of this section, an individual serving a term of imprisonment for conviction in a court of the United States of a criminal offense (referred to in this section as the `applicant') may make a written motion to the court that entered the judgment of conviction for the performance of forensic DNA testing on specified evidence, if that evidence-- ``(1) was secured in relation to the investigation or prosecution that resulted in the conviction of the applicant; and ``(2) was not subject to the DNA testing requested because the technology for such testing was not available to the applicant at the time of trial. ``(b) Notice to the Government.--Upon receipt of a motion under subsection (a), the court shall notify the Government and shall afford the Government an opportunity to respond to the motion. ``(c) Requirements.--In any motion under subsection (a), the applicant shall-- ``(1) under penalty of perjury, assert the actual innocence of the applicant of-- ``(A) the offense for which the applicant was convicted; or ``(B) uncharged conduct, if the exoneration of the applicant of such conduct would result in a mandatory reduction in the sentence of the applicant; ``(2) identify the specific evidence (that was secured in relation to the investigation or prosecution that resulted in the conviction of the applicant) to be tested and a theory of defense, not inconsistent with previously asserted theories, that the requested DNA testing would support; and ``(3) present a prima facie showing that-- ``(A) the identity of the perpetrator was at issue in the trial that resulted in the conviction of the applicant; and ``(B) DNA testing of the specified evidence would, assuming exculpatory results, establish the actual innocence of the applicant of-- ``(i) the offense for which the applicant was convicted; or ``(ii) uncharged conduct, if the exoneration of the applicant of such conduct would result in a mandatory reduction in the sentence of the applicant. ``(d) Order.-- ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the court shall order the testing requested in a motion under subsection (a) under reasonable conditions designed to protect the interests of the Government in the integrity of the evidence and the testing process, upon a determination, after review of the record of the trial of the applicant, that-- ``(A) the applicant has met the requirements of subsection (c); ``(B) the evidence to be tested is in the possession of the Government or the court and has been subject to a chain of custody sufficient to establish that it has not been altered in any material respect; and ``(C) the motion is made in a timely manner and for the purpose of demonstrating the actual innocence of the applicant and not to delay the execution of sentence or administration of justice. ``(2) Exception.--The court shall not order the testing requested in a motion under subsection (a) if, after review of the record of the trial of the applicant, the court determines that there is no reasonable possibility that the testing will produce exculpatory evidence that would establish the actual innocence of the applicant of-- ``(A) the offense for which the applicant was convicted; or ``(B) uncharged conduct, if the exoneration of the applicant of such conduct would result in a mandatory reduction in the sentence of the applicant. ``(3) Final order.--An order under this subsection is a final order for purposes of section 1291 of title 28, United
Other Popular 106th Congressional Bills Documents:
|GovRecords.org presents information on various agencies of the United States Government. Even though all information is believed to be credible and accurate, no guarantees are made on the complete accuracy of our government records archive. Care should be taken to verify the information presented by responsible parties. Please see our reference page for congressional, presidential, and judicial branch contact information. GovRecords.org values visitor privacy. Please see the privacy page for more information.|
Supreme Court Decisions
104th Congressional Documents
105th Congressional Documents
106th Congressional Documents
107th Congressional Documents
108th Congressional Documents
1994 Presidential Documents