Bill S2001-2011

Extends statute of limitation for commencing criminal case when DNA evidence is recovered at a crime scene but the evidence does not match anyone in the DNA index

Provides for extending the statue of limitations for the commencement of a criminal action when DNA evidence is recovered at the crime scene and such DNA evidence does not match any person in the state DNA identification index.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jun 24, 2011: COMMITTED TO RULES
  • Jun 14, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Jun 13, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Jun 7, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.1067
  • Jan 14, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Meetings

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Codes - Jun 7, 2011
Ayes (15): Saland, DeFrancisco, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Golden, Lanza, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Gianaris, Duane, Huntley, Perkins, Squadron, Espaillat
Ayes W/R (1): Parker

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2001

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the statute of limitations in cases in which a DNA sample from a crime scene cannot be matched to an individual in the state DNA identification index

PURPOSE: This bill would provide for tolling of the statute of limitations in criminal cases in which the identity of the defendant is established by means of DNA evidence.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one would amend paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of section 30.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law to toll the statute of limitations in criminal cases in which the identity of the defendant is established by means of DNA evidence.

Section two provides that the bill would take effect immediately, provided, however, that the amendment to paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of section 30.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law made by section one would apply to offenses where the applicable period of limitation, including any extension of such period of limitation pursuant to law in effect before such effective date, has not expired on such effective date.

EXISTING LAW: Paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of section 30.10 of the Criminal Procedure Law provides that in calculating the applicable period of limitation, any period following the commission of the offense during which the defendant was continuously outside this state or the whereabouts of the defendant were continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence shall not be included. The period of limitation may not be extended by more than five years beyond the applicable period.

JUSTIFICATION: Statutes of limitation encourage law enforcement officials to promptly investigate suspected criminal activity and protect individuals from having to defend themselves against charges when the basic facts may have become obscured by the passage of time. However, many criminal prosecutions are thwarted, despite reasonable diligence by law enforcement officials, by the perpetrator's efforts to avoid identification.

DNA increasingly allows the perpetrators of crimes to be positively ascertained many years after the crime was committed and the statute of limitations has expired. This is particularly true as more offenders have their DNA added to the State DNA Databank and are thereafter linked to crimes they committed years before. Under such circumstances, the policy considerations sought to be addressed by statutes of limitations are no longer valid. In essence, the underlying rationale behind a statute of limitations -- to guard

against potentially unreliable identification testimony offered by an eyewitness whose memory has faded with the passage of time -evaporates in the face of scientific evidence whose accuracy is not diminished by the passage of time. In such instances, perpetrators of crimes should not be allowed to use the statute of limitations as a shield to protect them against prosecution for the crimes they have committed.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009/2010 - S.1479 - Referred to Codes 2007/2008 - S.2374 - Passed Senate Similar legislation was passed as part of S.5342 of 2006

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately and applicable to offenses where the applicable period of limitation, including any extension of such period of limitation pursuant to law in effect before such effective date, has not expired on such effective date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2001 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. SKELOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to the statute of limitations in cases in which a DNA sample from a crime scene cannot be matched to an individual in the state DNA identification index THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of section 30.10 of the criminal procedure law is amended to read as follows: (a) Any period following the commission of the offense during which (i) the defendant was continuously outside this state or (ii) the where- abouts of the defendant were continuously unknown and continuously unas- certainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence OR (III) THE IDENTI- TY OF THE DEFENDANT WAS CONTINUOUSLY UNKNOWN AND A DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID (DNA) RECORD OF THE DEFENDANTS GENETIC CODE, OBTAINED BY FORENSIC DNA TESTING OF EVIDENCE LOCATED AT A TIME OR PLACE RELEVANT TO THE COMMIS- SION OF THE OFFENSE, COULD NOT BE MATCHED TO AN INDIVIDUAL IDENTIFIED BY DNA RECORDS CONTAINED IN THE STATE DNA IDENTIFICATION INDEX BY THE EXER- CISE OF REASONABLE DILIGENCE. However, in no event shall the period of limitation be extended PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPHS (I) AND (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH by more than five years beyond the period otherwise applicable under subdivision two. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that the amendment to paragraph (a) of subdivision 4 of section 30.10 of the criminal procedure law made by section one of this act shall apply to offenses where the applicable period of limitation, including any exten- sion of such period of limitation pursuant to law in effect before such effective date, has not expired on such effective date.

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