TWENTY-SEVENTH LEGISLATURE, 2014
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE RETENTION OF BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Section 844D-126, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Retention of biological evidence. (a) All evidence in the custody or
control of [ a police department, prosecuting attorney, laboratory, or court that
is] an agency shall be retained if the evidence:
(1) Is related to the investigation or
prosecution of a case in which there has been a judgment of conviction for a
felony offense; and [
(2) May contain biological evidence that could be used for DNA analysis to reasonably do the following:
(A) Establish the identity of the person who committed the offense for which there was the judgment of conviction;
(B) Exclude a person from the group of persons who could have committed the offense for which there was the judgment of conviction; or
(C) Create a reasonable doubt about the identity of the person who committed the offense for which there was the judgment of conviction.
(b) The evidence shall be retained at least until the later occurring of either:
(1) The exhaustion of all appeals and any collateral proceedings of the case to which the evidence is related; or
(2) The completion of any sentence, including any term of probation or parole, imposed on the defendant in the case to which the evidence relates.
(b) The attorney general shall establish
procedures and protocols, which shall be uniform throughout the State, for the
collection and preservation of evidence retained pursuant to this section.]
(c) An agency may dispose of evidence retained pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) before the expiration of the time period specified in subsection (b) if:
(1) Pursuant to a court order; and
(2) All of the following conditions are met:
(A) The agency files a notification of the proposed disposal of the evidence with the court;
(B) The filed notification is served upon:
(i) The defendant against whom the judgment of conviction was filed by actual personal service or at the defendant's last known address; provided that a reasonable documented good faith attempt for personal service was made;
(ii) The defendant's attorney of record;
(iii) The public defender;
(iv) The defendant's parole officer or probation officer;
(v) The Hawaii Innocence Project at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson school of law; and
(vi) Any additional interested persons the agency deems necessary;
(C) The filed notification includes:
(i) A description of the evidence proposed to be disposed;
(ii) Notice that a defendant may file a statement of objection within ninety days of the date of receipt of the notification; and
(iii) Notice that the agency will dispose of the evidence unless the defendant files a statement of objection with the court and serves the statement of objection on the agency within the ninety-day period; and
(D) Either the defendant does not file a statement of objection within the ninety-day period, or the defendant does file a statement of objection within the ninety-day period and the court, after a hearing, issues an order to allow the agency to dispose of the evidence.
(d) If a defendant files a statement of objection, the court shall schedule a hearing on the objection and notify the department or agency that prosecuted the case of the hearing on the statement of objection to the notification of the proposed disposal of the evidence.
(e) If, after a hearing, the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that:
(1) The identity of the defendant, as the perpetrator of the offense that resulted in the judgment of conviction, was at issue; and
(2) The evidence contains biological evidence that could be used for DNA analysis to:
(A) Reasonably establish the identity of the person who committed the offense for which the defendant was convicted;
(B) Exclude a person from the group of persons who could have committed the offense for which the defendant was convicted; or
(C) Create a reasonable doubt about the identity of the person who committed the offense for which the defendant was convicted,
then the court may order the agency to retain the evidence for the period specified in subsection (b) or, if appropriate, the court may order that the agency may dispose of the evidence after taking reasonable measures to preserve the biological evidence contained on the evidence. If, after the hearing, the court is unable to make any one of those findings, then the court may allow the agency to dispose of the evidence.
(f) As used in this section:
"Agency" means any custodial agency that retains evidence, including but not limited to the police department, prosecuting attorney, laboratory, or court.
"Biological evidence" means an individual's blood, semen, hair, saliva, skin tissue, fingernail scrapings, fingerprints, teeth, bone, bodily fluids, or other identified biological material including the contents of a sexual assault examination kit."
SECTION 2. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Retention; Biological Evidence
Amends guidelines and limitations for the post-conviction retention of biological evidence related to felony cases by various agencies and the courts. Provides procedures for agencies to dispose of certain retained evidence and for defendants to file objections to proposed disposals. (SD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.