Bill Summaries: all (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 15 2015 - View summary

    Enacts new GS 15A-981, which relates to the reliability of testimony of an informant who was held within a correctional facility.

    Provides that a defendant may not be convicted of an offense based solely on the testimony of an in-custody informant unless the testimony is corroborated. Requires the prosecution to timely disclose its intent to introduce testimony of such an informant and requires the court to conduct a pretrial hearing to determine the reliability of that testimony. Authorizes the defendant to waive the hearing.

    If a hearing is held, the court must (1) require certification of reliability by the district attorney and (2) determine whether the prosecution has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the testimony is reliable. Establishes a rebuttable presumption of inadmissibility. Specifies factors that may be considered to overcome the presumption.

    Directs the judge to provide the jury with specific instructions in cases where the testimony is admissible. Directs district attorneys to adopt policies and procedures governing the recording and use of testimony. Prohibits destruction or modification of recordings until one year after the completion of all appeals.

    Effective December 1, 2015, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.