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] ...


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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 

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