10.73.160  <<  10.73.170 >>   End of Chapter

RCW 10.73.170

DNA testing requests.

(1) A person convicted of a felony in a Washington state court who currently is serving a term of imprisonment may submit to the court that entered the judgment of conviction a verified written motion requesting DNA testing, with a copy of the motion provided to the state office of public defense.
(2) The motion shall:
(a) State that:
(i) The court ruled that DNA testing did not meet acceptable scientific standards; or
(ii) DNA testing technology was not sufficiently developed to test the DNA evidence in the case; or
(iii) The DNA testing now requested would be significantly more accurate than prior DNA testing or would provide significant new information;
(b) Explain why DNA evidence is material to the identity of the perpetrator of, or accomplice to, the crime, or to sentence enhancement; and
(c) Comply with all other procedural requirements established by court rule.
(3) The court shall grant a motion requesting DNA testing under this section if such motion is in the form required by subsection (2) of this section, and the convicted person has shown the likelihood that the DNA evidence would demonstrate innocence on a more probable than not basis.
(4) Upon written request to the court that entered a judgment of conviction, a convicted person who demonstrates that he or she is indigent under RCW 10.101.010 may request appointment of counsel solely to prepare and present a motion under this section, and the court, in its discretion, may grant the request. Such motion for appointment of counsel shall comply with all procedural requirements established by court rule.
(5) DNA testing ordered under this section shall be performed by the Washington state patrol crime laboratory. Contact with victims shall be handled through victim/witness divisions.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon motion of defense counsel or the court's own motion, a sentencing court in a felony case may order the preservation of any biological material that has been secured in connection with a criminal case, or evidence samples sufficient for testing, in accordance with any court rule adopted for the preservation of evidence. The court must specify the samples to be maintained and the length of time the samples must be preserved.
NOTES:
Effective date2005 c 5: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 9, 2005]." [ 2005 c 5 § 2.]
Construction2001 c 301: "Nothing in this act may be construed to create a new or additional cause of action in any court. Nothing in this act shall be construed to limit any rights offenders might otherwise have to court access under any other statutory or constitutional provision." [ 2001 c 301 § 2.]
Report on DNA testing2000 c 92: "By December 1, 2001, the office of public defense shall prepare a report detailing the following: (1) The number of postconviction DNA test requests approved by the respective prosecutor; (2) the number of postconviction DNA test requests denied by the respective prosecutor and a summary of the basis for the denials; (3) the number of appeals for postconviction DNA testing approved by the attorney general's office; (4) the number of appeals for postconviction DNA testing denied by the attorney general's office and a summary of the basis for the denials; and (5) a summary of the results of the postconviction DNA tests conducted pursuant to RCW 10.73.170 (2) and (3). The report shall also provide an estimate of the number of persons convicted of crimes where DNA evidence was not admitted because the court ruled DNA testing did not meet acceptable scientific standards or where DNA testing technology was not sufficiently developed to test the DNA evidence in the case." [ 2000 c 92 § 2.]
Intent2000 c 92: "Nothing in chapter 92, Laws of 2000 is intended to create a legal right or cause of action. Nothing in chapter 92, Laws of 2000 is intended to deny or alter any existing legal right or cause of action. Nothing in chapter 92, Laws of 2000 should be interpreted to deny postconviction DNA testing requests under existing law by convicted and incarcerated persons who were sentenced to confinement for a term less than life or the death penalty." [ 2000 c 92 § 4.]
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