BILL REQ. #: S-0933.1
|State of Washington||58th Legislature||2003 Regular Session|
Read first time 02/19/2003. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF
STATE LEGISLATURES, AND TO THE NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The ability of law enforcement officials to utilize forensic evidence is often central to their capacity to process crime scenes and gather objective evidence that may identify individuals who may have information regarding a crime; and
WHEREAS, Advances in forensic evidence gathering and analysis provide law enforcement and prosecutorial professionals with the greater ability to identify and prosecute persons who commit crimes and to reduce the likelihood of wrongful prosecutions; and
WHEREAS, Crimes of violence may be, and often are, committed by the same person and often in more than one state; and
WHEREAS, The need and ability to quickly and accurately obtain and share forensic information can benefit the public and public safety professionals across jurisdictional boundaries; and
WHEREAS, There is significant evidence that in many instances the retrieval and analysis of ammunition shells and casings can be a valuable forensic tool in helping identify a weapon that has been used in more than one crime; and
WHEREAS, The ability of a single state to establish, maintain, utilize, and share information on this type of forensic evidence is constrained by costs and staffing so as to cause practical difficulties in establishing and using a data base of this forensic evidence; and
WHEREAS, The ability to quickly access and analyze the forensic evidence in violent crimes is more likely to occur when there is a common data base to use;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that Congress enact a national data base of forensic evidence relating to identification of ammunition used in the commission of crimes. Specifically, access to the data base should be restricted to public safety professionals investigating and prosecuting crimes and counsel for persons accused of committing crimes; and
Your Memorialists further pray that Congress permit the establishment of a national data base that utilizes only ammunition identification and analysis that are objectively demonstrated to be highly reliable and that Congress require regular peer review of techniques utilized and developed to maintain the highest possible reliability of the methods utilized in maintaining the evidence contained in the data base; and
Your Memorialists further pray that Congress undertake the establishment of the data base as promptly as possible in order to provide maximum assistance to public safety professionals in their efforts to solve and prevent crimes, and that the establishment of the data base include an independent review board to maintain the integrity of the restrictions on the use of the data as well as reviewing proposed new techniques of analysis.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.