Bill Summary for H 678 (2015-2016)

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Summary date: 

Apr 29 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 678 (Public) Filed Monday, April 13, 2015
Intro. by Glazier, Daughtry, Stam.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Deletes proposed changes to GS 15A-1465(a) and GS 15A-1466.

Amends GS 15A-1475 to require the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission (Commission) to submit a semi-annual report to the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts with data on the Commission's operations, expenses, and needs.

Amends GS 15A-1467 to remove proposed (c1) concerning rights of co-defendants when a formal inquiry is granted. Also amends proposed (h) to no loner specify that the confidential case status update for each case in formal inquiry include a summary of the actions taken since the last update.

Amends GS 15A-1468 as follows. Requires that the written statement the District Attorney gives to the Commission be part of the record and no longer requires that the statement convey his or her position on the case. Requires the record in support of an opinion to also be filed when a case is referred to the senior resident superior court judge. Also reinstates the requirement that the Commission document the opinion that there is insufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review, along with supporting findings of fact, and file those documents and supporting materials with the clerk of superior court (was, Commission must file only the opinion with supporting findings of fact). Makes clarifying changes. No longer deletes the provision in (d) requiring disclosure of evidence favorable to the convicted person. Requires that the supporting records for the Commission's conclusion that there is sufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review, including all files and material considered by the Commission and a full transcript of the hearing, be public when filed with the superior court. Deletes proposed language requiring one copy of the Commission file, excluding documents protected by a protective order, be disclosed to the parties after completion of formal inquiry or upon becoming available in an uncertified form. Adds that all files and records not filed with the clerk of superior court or presented at the hearings are confidential and exempt from the public record. Requires the Commission to make a copy of the entire fire available to the district attorney and defense counsel upon completion of the hearing. Provides that the file remains confidential and may not be released by the district attorney or defense counsel until filed with the clerk of superior court. Allows the district attorney and defense counsel to determine which evidence, if any, will be presented to the three-judge panel.

Adds a section amending GS 15A-1471 to give the Commission the authority, when requested, to search any location where files or evidence are reasonably likely to be stored in relation to a claim subject to the Commission's inquiry. Sets out additional procedural requirements for such a search.