Open States' stated mission is to improve civic engagement.
To be true to that goal, we can not stand by and be silent when a large portion of Americans face systemic racism and other forms of oppression. That oppression has meant being excluded from civic participation at the ballot box, being called un-American for peaceful protests, and being denied justice for crimes committed against them.
The bill requires the division of criminal justice in the department of public safety (division) and a statewide coalition for sexual assault victims to convene a statewide multidisciplinary committee to research the creation of a existing statewide system systems to track forensic medical evidence related to a sexual assault (medical evidence) whereby victims may access specified information concerning the medical evidence. The division shall report its findings to specified committees of the general assembly.
The bill requires the medical professional collecting the medical evidence to inform victims of the contact information for the nearest sexual assault victim's advocate or confidential victim's advocate , the length of time that medical evidence must be preserved, and their right to be notified of the destruction of the medical evidence.
If a conviction or plea has not been entered in a case, the bill requires the entity holding the medical evidence to notify the victim:
When the evidence is submitted to a laboratory for testing;
When the results of the testing are received; and
Prior to the medical evidence being destroyed and to maintain the medical evidence for an additional 10 years if the victim objects to the destruction.
The bill requires the executive director of the department of public safety to promulgate rules requiring the entity holding medical evidence to maintain the medical evidence until the statute of limitations on commencing a criminal action has passed law enforcement agency to maintain the medical evidence until the statute of limitation has run on the crime and for an additional 10 years if the victim objects to its destruction .
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)