A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE REMOTE VIDEO TESTIMONY BY FORENSIC AND CHEMICAL ANALYSTS, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH COMMISSION'S COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Enacts new GS 15A-1225.3 in Article 73 of GS Chapter 15A. Defines the following terms as they apply to this section: (1) criminal proceeding – any trial or hearing in a prosecution of a person charged with violating a criminal law of North Carolina and any hearing or proceeding under Subchapter II of GS Chapter 7B involving a juvenile alleged to have committed an offense that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult and (2) remote testimony – a method by which a forensic analyst testifies outside the physical presence of the party or parties and from a location other than the location where the hearing or trial is being conducted.
Subsection (b) of new GS 15A-1225.3 provides criteria that must be met in order for remote testimony to be permitted in any criminal proceeding regarding the results of forensic testing admissible under GS 8-58.20. Requires that all of the following occur in order for remote testimony to be permitted: (1) the state must provide a copy of the forensics testing report to the attorney of record or to the defendant if there is no attorney of record, as required by GS 8-85.20(d); (2) the state must notify the attorney of record or the defendant if the person has no attorney, at least 15 business days before the proceeding at which the evidence is to be used, of its intent to introduce the forensic evidence using remote testimony; and (3) the defendant’s attorney of record, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, fails to file a written objection to the introduction of remote testimony with the court, with a copy to the state at least five business days before the proceeding at which the testimony is to be presented. Requires that the method for the remote testimony authorized under this section allow all parties and the trier of fact to observe the demeanor of the analyst as the analyst testifies. Requires the court to ensure that the defendant’s attorney, or the defendant if that person has no attorney, has a full and fair opportunity to examine and cross-examine the analyst. Specifies that nothing in this section infringes on any party’s right to call any witness.
Adds new subsection (c5) to GS 20-139.1 to permit remote testimony, as defined and specified in new GS 15A-1225.3, in all administrative hearings and in any court, regarding the results of a chemical analysis of blood or urine admissible under subsection (c1) of this section. Applies the same criteria to the permissibility of remote testimony under GS 20-139.1(c5) as under new GS 15A-1225.3.
Appropriates from the General Fund an amount not to exceed $500,000 for fiscal year 2014-15 to the Administrative Office of the Courts to fund the equipment needed for the use of remote testimony in at least three prosecutorial districts. Effective July 1, 2014.
Provides that the other provisions of this act become effective December 1, 2014, and apply to testimony admitted on or after that date.
© 2022 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.