Bill Text: NY S04963 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to the processing of evidence related to sexual offenses and the inclusion of such results in the state DNA identification index.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-02 - REFERRED TO INTERNET AND TECHNOLOGY [S04963 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S04963-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          4963
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                      April 2, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sens. PARKER, KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed,
          and when printed to be committed to  the  Committee  on  Internet  and
          Technology
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  executive law, in relation to the processing of
          evidence related to sexual offenses and the inclusion of such  results
          in the state DNA identification index
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivisions 2 and 9 of section 995 of the  executive  law,
     2  as  added  by  chapter  737  of the laws of 1994, are amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    2. For purposes of forensic DNA analysis, the term "forensic DNA labo-
     5  ratory" shall mean any forensic laboratory operated by the state or unit
     6  of local government, that performs forensic DNA testing on crime scenes,
     7  forensic testing on evidence of sexual  offenses  or  materials  derived
     8  from  the human body for use as evidence in a criminal proceeding or for
     9  purposes of identification and the term  "forensic  DNA  testing"  shall
    10  mean  any  test that employs techniques to examine deoxyribonucleic acid
    11  (DNA) derived from the human body for the purpose of providing  informa-
    12  tion  to  resolve issues of identification.  Regulation pursuant to this
    13  article shall not include DNA testing  on  materials  derived  from  the
    14  human  body  pursuant to title five of article five of the public health
    15  law for the purpose of determining a person's genetic disease or medical
    16  condition and shall not include a laboratory  operated  by  the  federal
    17  government.
    18    9.  "DNA  subcommittee"  shall  mean  the subcommittee on forensic DNA
    19  laboratories and forensic DNA and sexual offense forensic evidence test-
    20  ing established pursuant to subdivision thirteen of section nine hundred
    21  ninety-five-b of this article.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD04506-01-9

        S. 4963                             2
     1    § 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 995-b of the  executive
     2  law,  as added by chapter 737 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    (b)  ensure that forensic analyses, including forensic DNA testing and
     5  sexual offense forensic evidence testing, are  performed  in  accordance
     6  with the highest scientific standards practicable;
     7    §  3.  Subdivisions 7, 11, 12 and 13 of section 995-b of the executive
     8  law, as added by chapter 737 of the laws of 1994 and  paragraph  (a)  of
     9  subdivision  13  as  amended  by  chapter  560  of the laws of 1999, are
    10  amended to read as follows:
    11    7. The commission and DNA subcommittee may establish, appoint, and set
    12  terms of members to as many advisory councils as it deems  necessary  to
    13  provide  specialized  expertise  to  the  commission with respect to new
    14  forensic technologies including DNA  testing  methodologies  and  sexual
    15  offense forensic evidence testing methodologies.
    16    11. Upon the recommendation of the DNA subcommittee established pursu-
    17  ant to subdivision thirteen of this section, the commission shall desig-
    18  nate  one or more approved methodologies for the performance of forensic
    19  DNA testing and sexual assault forensic evidence, and shall  review  and
    20  act  upon  applications  by  forensic  DNA  laboratories for approval to
    21  perform forensic DNA testing.
    22    12. Promulgate standards for a determination of a  match  between  the
    23  DNA  records  contained  in the state DNA identification index and a DNA
    24  record of a person or sexual offense  forensic  evidence  submitted  for
    25  comparison therewith.
    26    13.  (a) The commission shall establish a subcommittee on forensic DNA
    27  laboratories and forensic DNA and sexual offense forensic evidence test-
    28  ing.  The  chair  of the subcommittee shall be appointed by the chair of
    29  the commission. The chair of the subcommittee shall  appoint  six  other
    30  members  to the subcommittee, one of whom shall represent the discipline
    31  of molecular biology and be appointed upon  the  recommendation  of  the
    32  commissioner  of  the  department of health, one of whom shall represent
    33  the discipline of population genetics and be appointed upon  the  recom-
    34  mendation  of  the commissioner of the department of health, one of whom
    35  shall be representative of the discipline of  laboratory  standards  and
    36  quality  assurance  regulation  and monitoring and be appointed upon the
    37  recommendation of the commissioner of the department of health,  one  of
    38  whom shall be a forensic scientist and be appointed upon the recommenda-
    39  tion  of the commissioner of the department of health, one of whom shall
    40  be representative of  the  discipline  of  population  genetics  and  be
    41  appointed  upon  the  recommendation  of  the  commissioner  of criminal
    42  justice services and one of whom shall be representative of  the  disci-
    43  pline  of  forensic  science and be appointed upon the recommendation of
    44  the commissioner of  criminal  justice  services.  Members  of  the  DNA
    45  subcommittee  shall  serve  for  three  year terms and be subject to the
    46  conditions of service specified in section nine hundred ninety-five-a of
    47  this article.
    48    (b) The DNA subcommittee shall assess and evaluate all DNA and  sexual
    49  offense forensic evidence methodologies proposed to be used for forensic
    50  analysis,  and  make reports and recommendations to the commission as it
    51  deems necessary. The DNA subcommittee shall make binding recommendations
    52  for adoption by the commission addressing minimum  scientific  standards
    53  to  be  utilized  in conducting forensic DNA and sexual offense forensic
    54  evidence analysis including, but not limited to, examination  of  speci-
    55  mens, population studies and methods employed to determine probabilities
    56  and  interpret  test  results. The DNA subcommittee may require a demon-

        S. 4963                             3
     1  stration by an independent laboratory of any proposed  forensic  DNA  or
     2  sexual offense forensic evidence testing methodology proposed to be used
     3  by a forensic laboratory.
     4    (c)  The  DNA  subcommittee  shall  make  binding  recommendations for
     5  adoption by the commission with regard to an accreditation  program  for
     6  laboratories   performing  forensic  DNA  and  sexual  offense  forensic
     7  evidence testing in accordance with the provisions of the state adminis-
     8  trative procedure act. Such recommendations shall include  the  adoption
     9  and   implementation   of  internal  and  external  proficiency  testing
    10  programs, including, if possible, a blind external  proficiency  testing
    11  program  for  forensic  laboratories  performing forensic DNA and sexual
    12  offense forensic evidence  testing.  The  DNA  subcommittee  shall  also
    13  provide the commission with a list of accepted proficiency testers.
    14    (d)  The DNA subcommittee shall be authorized to advise the commission
    15  on any other matters regarding the implementation of scientific controls
    16  and quality assurance procedures for the performance of forensic DNA and
    17  sexual offense forensic  evidence  testing,  or  on  any  other  matters
    18  referred to it by the commission.
    19    §  4.  Section  995-d of the executive law, as added by chapter 737 of
    20  the laws of 1994 and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 560 of the laws
    21  of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
    22    § 995-d. Confidentiality.  1.  All  records,  findings,  reports,  and
    23  results of DNA and sexual offense forensic evidence testing performed on
    24  any person shall be confidential and may not be disclosed or redisclosed
    25  without  the consent of the subject of such DNA or sexual offense foren-
    26  sic evidence testing. Such records, findings, reports and results  shall
    27  not  be  released to insurance companies, employers or potential employ-
    28  ers, health providers,  employment  screening  or  personnel  companies,
    29  agencies,  or  services,  private investigation services, and may not be
    30  disclosed in response to a subpoena or other compulsory legal process or
    31  warrant, or upon request or order of any  agency,  authority,  division,
    32  office,  corporation, partnership, or any other private or public entity
    33  or person, except that nothing contained herein shall  prohibit  disclo-
    34  sure  in  response to a subpoena issued on behalf of the subject of such
    35  DNA or sexual offense forensic evidence record or on behalf of  a  party
    36  in  a  civil  proceeding where the subject of such DNA or sexual offense
    37  forensic evidence record has put such record in issue.
    38    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this  section,
    39  records, findings, reports, and results of DNA testing, other than a DNA
    40  record  maintained  in  the  state  DNA  identification  index,  may  be
    41  disclosed in a criminal proceeding to the court,  the  prosecution,  and
    42  the  defense  pursuant  to a written request on a form prescribed by the
    43  commissioner of the division of criminal  justice  services.    Notwith-
    44  standing  the  provisions  of  subdivision one of this section, a DNA or
    45  sexual offense forensic evidence record  maintained  in  the  state  DNA
    46  identification  index  may be disclosed pursuant to section nine hundred
    47  ninety-five-c of this article.
    48    § 5. Section 995-e of the executive law, as added by  chapter  737  of
    49  the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
    50    § 995-e. Applicability. This article shall not apply to a forensic DNA
    51  laboratory  operated  by any agency of the federal government, or to any
    52  forensic DNA test or sexual offense forensic evidence test performed  by
    53  any such federal laboratory.
    54    §  6. Section 995-f of the executive law, as amended by chapter 560 of
    55  the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:

        S. 4963                             4
     1    § 995-f. Penalties. Any person who (a) intentionally discloses  a  DNA
     2  record,  [or]  the  results  of  a forensic DNA test or analysis, or the
     3  result of a sexual offense forensic evidence test  of  analysis,  to  an
     4  individual  or  agency  other than one authorized to have access to such
     5  records  pursuant  to this article or (b) intentionally uses or receives
     6  DNA records, [or] the results of a forensic DNA test or analysis, or the
     7  results of a sexual offense forensic  evidence  test  of  analysis,  for
     8  purposes other than those authorized pursuant to this article or (c) any
     9  person  who  knowingly tampers or attempts to tamper with any DNA sample
    10  [or], the collection  container  or  sexual  offense  forensic  evidence
    11  sample without lawful authority shall be guilty of a class E felony.
    12    §  7.  Subdivisions  6 and 7 of section 995-c of the executive law, as
    13  added by chapter 737 of the laws of 1994, are amended and a new subdivi-
    14  sion 10 is added to read as follows:
    15    6. DNA and sexual offense forensic evidence records contained  in  the
    16  state  DNA identification index shall be released only for the following
    17  purposes:
    18    (a) to a federal law enforcement agency, or to a state  or  local  law
    19  enforcement  agency  or  district  attorney's office for law enforcement
    20  identification purposes upon submission of a DNA  record  in  connection
    21  with  the  investigation  of  the commission of one or more crimes or to
    22  assist in the recovery or identification  of  specified  human  remains,
    23  including  identification of missing persons, provided that there exists
    24  between the division and such agency a written agreement  governing  the
    25  use  and  dissemination  of  such  DNA  records  in  accordance with the
    26  provisions of this article;
    27    (b) for criminal defense purposes, to a defendant or his or her repre-
    28  sentative, who shall also have access to samples and analyses  performed
    29  in connection with the case in which such defendant is charged;
    30    (c)  after personally identifiable information has been removed by the
    31  division, to an entity authorized by the division  for  the  purpose  of
    32  creating  or  maintaining  a population statistics database or for iden-
    33  tification research and protocol development for forensic  DNA  analysis
    34  or quality control purposes; and
    35    (d)  in  the  case  of a victim of a sexual offense, such victim shall
    36  have access to information regarding:
    37    (i) whether a sexual offense forensic evidence test  is  performed  by
    38  any forensic DNA laboratory;
    39    (ii)  whether the result of a sexual offense forensic evidence test of
    40  analysis was entered into the state DNA identification index; and
    41    (iii) whether there is a match between the result of a sexual  offense
    42  evidence test of analysis and the state DNA identification index.
    43    7.  Requests for DNA and sexual offense forensic evidence records must
    44  be in writing, or in a form prescribed by the division authorized by the
    45  requesting party, and, other than a request pursuant to paragraph (b) of
    46  subdivision six of this section, maintained on file  at  the  state  DNA
    47  identification index in accordance with rules and regulations promulgat-
    48  ed by the commissioner of the division of criminal justice services.
    49    10. (a) The commissioner of criminal justice services, in consultation
    50  with  the  DNA  subcommittee and the commission, is hereby authorized to
    51  establish a plan for the  timely  testing  of  sexual  offense  forensic
    52  evidence  and  the  inclusion  of the results of such testing in the DNA
    53  identification index pursuant to the provisions of this article.
    54    (b) Any forensic evidence collected or obtained in connection with the
    55  investigation of a crime or offense contained  in  article  one  hundred
    56  thirty  of  the penal law shall be included in the state DNA identifica-

        S. 4963                             5
     1  tion index pursuant to this article. This subdivision does not require a
     2  forensic DNA laboratory to test all items of forensic evidence  obtained
     3  in  a  sexual  offense forensic evidence examination or a sexual offense
     4  investigation.  For  the  purpose of timely processing of sexual offense
     5  forensic evidence, this subdivision intends  to  ensure  that  the  best
     6  evidence  is  selected  and  analyzed  as  soon as practicable among the
     7  representative sample of forensic evidence, based on the  medical  exam-
     8  ination  or the sexual offense investigation, the collection and preser-
     9  vation of that evidence, and the  transfer  of  the  evidence  from  the
    10  medical facility or the law enforcement agency to the forensic DNA labo-
    11  ratory.
    12    (c)  (i)  No  later  than  ten  business  days after being booked into
    13  evidence, a law enforcement agency that receives sexual offense forensic
    14  evidence shall forward such evidence  to  any  forensic  DNA  laboratory
    15  which  has  been  authorized by the commission to perform sexual offense
    16  forensic evidence testing and analysis for inclusion in  the  state  DNA
    17  identification index.
    18    (ii)  Such laboratory shall perform the requisite testing and analysis
    19  within three months of  its  receipt  of  the  sexual  offense  forensic
    20  evidence if sufficient staffing and resources are available. An analysis
    21  shall include an examination of DNA evidence, development of a potential
    22  suspect  profile,  and the forwarding of the resulting DNA record to the
    23  state DNA identification index in accordance with the regulations of the
    24  division of criminal justice services.
    25    (d) The failure of a law enforcement agency to submit  sexual  offense
    26  forensic  evidence  within the period required by this subdivision shall
    27  not affect the authority of (i) the agency to submit the evidence  to  a
    28  forensic DNA laboratory for analysis or (ii) of a forensic DNA laborato-
    29  ry to analyze the evidence or provide the results of the analysis to the
    30  appropriate agencies and the state DNA identification index.
    31    (e)  A law enforcement agency in possession of sexual offense forensic
    32  evidence that has not been forwarded to a forensic DNA laboratory within
    33  the time frame required by this  subdivision  shall:  (i)  by  September
    34  first of each year submit to the division of criminal justice services a
    35  list  of  the  agency's  active  criminal cases for which sexual offense
    36  forensic evidence has not yet been forwarded to a forensic DNA laborato-
    37  ry; and (ii) submit to the division of criminal justice  services  or  a
    38  forensic  DNA laboratory, as appropriate and subject to the availability
    39  of storage space, all sexual offense  forensic  evidence  pertaining  to
    40  those  active  criminal  cases  that  has not yet been submitted for lab
    41  analysis within two years after the effective date of this subdivision.
    42    (f) No later than one year after the effective date of  this  subdivi-
    43  sion,  the  division  of  criminal  justice services shall submit to the
    44  governor and the appropriate legislative committees of  the  senate  and
    45  the  assembly a request for any necessary funding to accomplish analyses
    46  of sexual offense forensic evidence required by this subdivision.
    47    (g) The division of criminal justice services may solicit  appropriate
    48  grants  and  funding  opportunities  in  furtherance  of  the activities
    49  required by this subdivision from foundations, other governmental  agen-
    50  cies  and  individuals,  under such terms and conditions as the division
    51  shall deem appropriate.
    52    § 8. This act shall take effect September 1, 2020.
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