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View NCGA Bill Details2011-2012 Session
House Bill 778 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Intro. by Stevens.

Status: Ch. SL 2012-7 (House Action) (Jun 7 2012)

Bill History:

H 778/S.L. 2012-7

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jun 7 2012 - View Summary

    AN ACT TO AMEND LAWS RELATING TO THE NORTH CAROLINA INNOCENCE INQUIRY COMMISSION AND THE PRESERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE. Summarized in Daily Bulletin 4/7/11, 6/2/11, and 6/3/11. Enacted June 7, 2012. Effective June 7, 2012.

  • Summary date: Jun 3 2011 - View Summary

    House amendment makes the following changes to 2nd edition. Amends proposed GS 15A-1471(d) to add that the Commission incurs all costs associated with ensuring compliance with FBI requirements and NDIS criteria.

  • Summary date: Jun 2 2011 - View Summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to 1st edition. Amends GS 15A-268(a1) to clarify that a custodial agency must preserve any physical evidence regardless of the date the physical evidence is collected. Amends GS 15A-268(a7) to require the custodial agency to prepare an inventory of biological evidence relevant to the defendant’s case that is in the custodial agency’s custody, upon a written request by the defendant. Additionally provides that if the evidence was destroyed through a court order or other written directive, the custodial agency must provide the defendant with a copy of the court order or written directive. Under current law, GS 15A-268(b) provides that if all of the specified conditions are met, the custodial agency required to preserve evidence under subsection (a1) of the statute may dispose of the evidence before the expiration of the time limits set in subsection (a6) of GS 15A-268. Adds as a specified condition to be met, a requirement that the custodial agency must have determined that it has no duty to preserve the evidence under GS 15A-1471.
    Amends the definition for claim of factual innocence in GS 15A-1460 to delete previous amendment stating that the term applies to a claim on behalf of a living person convicted of a felony who originally pled not guilty or nolo contendere. Adds a definition for claimant, meaning a person who asserts complete innocence of any criminal responsibility for a felony crime of which the person was convicted and for any other reduced level of criminal responsibility relating to the crime.
    Amends GS 15A-1467(a) to provide that a claim of factual innocence may be referred to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (Commission) by any (1) court, (2) a state or local agency, (3) a claimant, or (4) a claimant’s counsel (was, by a trial court or the defendant).
    Amends GS 15A-1468(b) to delete provision that allowed the Commission to exclude the victim from any portion of the proceedings if the commission determined that the victim’s presence might interfere with the investigation.
    Requires the Commission to include, as a part of its rules of operation, holding a prehearing conference at least 10 days before any proceedings of the full Commission. Specifies the persons to be notified and authorized to attend the prehearing conference. Authorizes the District Attorney or designee to provide the Commission with a written statement to be included in the record of the Commission’s proceedings. Provides that any statement included in the record must be a part of the Commission’s record of proceedings under GS 15A-1468(e).
    Amends GS 15A-1469 to clarify that if the Commission concludes that there is credible evidence of prosecutorial misconduct (standard was if there was significant evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in the case), the chair of the Commission may ask the Attorney General (was, the Director of the Conference of District Attorneys) to appoint a special prosecutor to represent the state in the place of the district attorney of the district of conviction or the district attorney’s designee. Provides prohibitions on appointing prosecuting attorneys who prosecuted or assisted with the prosecution in the trial of the convicted person, or a person who is a prosecuting attorney in the district where the convicted person was tried.
    Permits all credible, verifiable evidence relevant to the case to be presented during the hearing, even if that evidence was considered by a jury or judge in a prior proceeding. Restores the standard of proof to clear and convincing evidence (was, beyond a reasonable doubt).
    Repeals GS 7A-64(a1) (regarding temporarily assigning a district attorney from one district to another district upon request). Deletes provision that repealed GS 15A-1470(b). Also deletes provisions amending GS 7A-413(a) and GS 15A-1468(a).
    Adds new GS 15A-1471 providing for the preservation of files and evidence, the production of files and evidence, and forensic and DNA testing.
    Amends GS 148-82(b) to permit a person convicted of a felony and imprisoned thereafter who pleaded not guilty or nolo contendere and is subsequently determined to be innocent of all charges and against whom the charges are dismissed under GS 15A-1469, to present by petition a claim against the state for the pecuniary loss sustained by the person due to the erroneous conviction and imprisonment, provided the petition is presented as required.
    Effective when the act becomes law and applies to any pending claims on the effective date or claims filed on or after the effective date (was, effective October 1, 2011, and applies to claims of factual innocence filed on or after that date).

  • Summary date: Apr 7 2011 - View Summary

    Amends GS 15A-1460 to limit claims of factual innocence to those who originally pled not guilty or nolo contendere to the crime for which they were convicted and makes conforming changes throughout Article 92 of GS Chapter. Amends GS 15A-1467(a) to provide that only the defendant or the trial court (was, any court, person, or agency) may refer a claim of factual innocence to the Innocence Inquiry Commission (Commission). Amends GS 15A-1468 to allow a prosecutor or other representative of the state to cross-examine witnesses or present rebuttal evidence during Commission proceedings. Removes the provision prohibiting the Commission chair from ordering witnesses to testify or provide other information that might incriminate them in the prosecution of offenses other than those for which they have been granted immunity. Likewise removes the provision allowing the Commission to close its proceedings to the victim. Amends GS 15A-1469(a1) to require significant evidence of prosecutorial misconduct (was, allegation of or evidence of prosecutorial misconduct) before allowing the Director of the Conference of District Attorneys (was, Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts) to appoint a special prosecutor to represent the state before the three-judge panel, and removes the prohibition on appointing as special prosecutor any attorney who prosecuted or assisted with the prosecution of the convicted person. Limits the evidence that may be considered by the three-judge panel to credible, verifiable evidence of innocence that has not previously been presented at trial or any postconviction proceeding (was, all relevant evidence, even if considered by a jury or judge in a prior proceeding). Requires the convicted person to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she is innocent (was, by clear and convincing evidence). Repeals GS 15A-1470(b). Enacts new GS 7A-413(a)(5), authorizing the Conference of District Attorneys to assign a qualified attorney to serve as prosecutor in a hearing for a claim of factual innocence, upon Commission request. Effective October 1, 2011, and applies to claims of factual innocence filed on or after that date.