SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5896
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Constantine, Kline, Hargrove, Costa, Thibaudeau, Kohl‑Welles and Regala)
READ FIRST TIME 03/08/01.
AN ACT Relating to DNA testing of evidence; amending RCW 10.73.170; and adding a new section to chapter 10.73 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1. RCW 10.73.170 and 2000 c 92 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) On or before
December 31, ((
2002)) 2004, a person in this state who has been
(( sentenced to death or life imprisonment without possibility of release or
parole)) convicted of a felony and is currently serving a term of
imprisonment and who has been denied postconviction DNA testing may submit
a request to the county prosecutor in the county where the conviction was
obtained for postconviction DNA testing, if DNA evidence was not admitted
because the court ruled DNA testing did not meet acceptable scientific
standards or DNA testing technology was not sufficiently developed to test the
DNA evidence in the case. On and after January 1, (( 2003)) 2005,
a person must raise the DNA issues at trial or on appeal.
(2) The prosecutor shall screen the request. The request shall be reviewed based upon the likelihood that the DNA evidence would demonstrate innocence on a more probable than not basis. Upon determining that testing should occur and the evidence still exists, the prosecutor shall request DNA testing by the Washington state patrol crime laboratory. Contact with victims shall be handled through victim/witness divisions.
(3) A person denied a request made pursuant to subsections (1) and (2) of this section has a right to appeal his or her request within thirty days of denial of the request by the prosecutor. The appeal shall be to the attorney general's office. If the attorney general's office determines that it is likely that the DNA testing would demonstrate innocence on a more probable than not basis, then the attorney general's office shall request DNA testing by the Washington state patrol crime laboratory.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any biological material that has been secured in connection with a criminal case prior to the effective date of this act may not be destroyed before January 1, 2005.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 10.73 RCW to read as follows:
Nothing in this act may be construed to create a new or additional cause of action in any court. Nothing in this act shall be construed to limit any rights offenders might otherwise have to court access under any other statutory or constitutional provision.
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