Bill Summary for S 483 (2011-2012)
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TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT STATE FORENSICS LABORATORY TO PROVIDE FORENSIC SERVICES TO PROSECUTORS AND THE COURTS BY ANALYZING SUBMITTED EVIDENCE AND PROVIDING INDEPENDENT AND IMPARTIAL REPORTS BASED ON GENERALLY ACCEPTED SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES AND TO MAKE CORRESPONDING CHANGES TO GENERAL STATUTES AFFECTED BY THE CREATION OF AN INDEPENDENT STATE FORENSICS LABORATORY.Intro. by McKissick, Kinnaird.
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Transfers all functions, powers, and duties of the State Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Laboratory to the Office of the Attorney General (except that the Bureau shall retain any sworn law enforcement agents and certain equipment), and requires that the transfer be completed by June 30, 2011. Adds new GS 143B-216.80 to 143B-216.84, to (1) establish the North Carolina State Forensics Laboratory (State Crime Lab) in the Office of the Attorney General; (2) require the Attorney General to appoint a director of the State Crime Lab, who must be familiar with standards of accepted scientific methods and principles for examination of evidence in criminal cases, to serve at the will of the Attorney General; (3) require that laboratory and clinical facilities of state institutions be made available to the State Crime Lab; (4) provide that scientists and doctors working for the state may be called on to aid the State Crime Lab in evaluating, preparing, and preserving evidence, with a reasonable fee allowed by the Attorney General; (5) prohibit any employee of the State Crime Lab from being certified as a law enforcement officer by the Department of Justice, from holding any law enforcement certification or being sworn with any law enforcement agency in or outside the state, or having any law enforcement jurisdiction while performing duties of employment (making violation of the prohibition a Class 3 misdemeanor); and (6) require the State Crime Lab to make quarterly reports containing specified types of information.
Amends GS 8-58.20 to provide that in order to be admissible under the section, a forensic analysis must be performed by a laboratory accredited by an accrediting body that requires conformance to forensic specific requirements and that is a signatory to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Testing, and requires that DNA analyses and testing be performed by the same type of laboratory.
Makes numerous conforming amendments and directs the Revisor of Statutes to make any other required corresponding statutory changes. States that the act in no way affects any pending litigation and is only an administrative act designed to ensure continued integrity of the State Crime Lab.