AN ACT TO REQUIRE TESTING OF ALL SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMINATION KITS.
Titles the act The Standing Up for Rape Victims (Survivor) Act of 2019.
Enacts GS 15A-266.5A, Statewide sexual assault examination kit testing protocol. Sets out the legislative intent and defined terms. Provides notification and submission requirements for collecting agencies that collect sexual assault examination kits completed on or after July 1, 2019, requiring them to preserve the kit pursuant to GS 15A-268(a2) and notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. Requires the law enforcement agency notified to take custody of the kit within seven days of receiving notification, submit reported kits to the State Crime Laboratory or other approved lab within 45 days of taking custody, and submit unreported kits to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) within 45 days of taking custody. Directs law enforcement agencies that possess kits completed on or before January 1, 2018, to establish a review team no later than three months after the act becomes law, to determine submission priority of those kits to the State Crime Laboratory, as described. Prohibits three categories of untested kits from being submitted for testing, including (1) unreported kits, which must be sent to DPS for storage; (2) kits confirmed unfounded by the law enforcement agency and the review team unless or until information or evidence creates investigative or evidentiary value for testing, in which case the kit must be sent to the State Crime Laboratory or another approved lab for testing after submitting a request; and (3) those which resulted in criminal conviction where the convicted person does not seek DNA testing and the convicted person's DNA profile is already in CODIS. Requires all other kits not subject to the above described requirements to be submitted to the State Crime Laboratory or another approved laboratory as soon as practicable. Sets forth parameters for the State Crime Laboratory or another approved laboratory's testing of kits completed on or before January 1, 2018, and the State CODIS Administrator's entering of eligible DNA profiles developed from those kits into the CODIS database.
Specifies that lack of compliance with the statute does not: (1) constitute grounds upon which a person may challenge the validity of DNA evidence in any criminal or civil proceeding; (2) justify the exclusion of evidence generated from a sexual assault examination kit; or (3) provide a person who is accused or convicted of committing a crime against a victim a basis to request that the person's case be dismissed or conviction set aside, or providing a cause of action or civil claim.
Requires the Department of Justice and other named entities to work together to develop and provide response and training programs to law enforcement and their sexual assault examination kit review teams on sexual assault investigations, including specified issues related to victim interactions and the handling of kits.
Amends GS 15A-266.8 by requiring a law enforcement agency that receives an actionable CODIS hit on a submitted DNA sample to provide electronic notice of the specified arrest or conviction information to the State Crime Laboratory within 15 days of the trigging event. Applies to CODIS hits received on or after the date that the act becomes law.
Appropriates $3 million in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the Department of Justice for each fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium for testing of untested sexual assault examination kits in accordance with new GS 114-66. Appropriates $800,000 in recurring funds for 2019-20 from the General Fund to the Department of Justice for the creation of six full-time equivalent forensic scientist positions. Effective July 1, 2019.
Exempts the act from GS 143C-5-2 (which requires, with exceptions, that each house first pass its version of the Current Operations Appropriations Act on third reading and order it sent to the other chamber before placing any other appropriations bill on the calendar for second reading).