Chapter 153
2015 -- H 6072
Enacted 07/02/2015

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Maldonado, Keable, Regunberg, Fogarty, and Diaz
Date Introduced: April 15, 2015

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 10-9.1-11 of the General Laws in Chapter 10-9.1 entitled "Post
Conviction Remedy" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     10-9.1-11. Innocence protection -- Mandatory preservation of biological evidence. --
(a) Mandatory preservation. - During the term of the defendant's incarceration resulting from his
or her conviction after trial, the Rhode Island state police and each and every municipal police
department in the state of Rhode Island, their agents, and any person to whom biological evidence
has been transferred shall be obligated to preserve all biological evidence that comes into its
possession during the course of a criminal investigation.
      (b) Petition to destroy evidence. - A police department or agent may be relieved of the
obligation of mandatory preservation by applying to a justice of the superior court for permission
to destroy biological evidence. Upon receipt of the petition, a justice of the superior court shall
hold a hearing, and after giving notice to all defendants charged in connection with the
prosecution, the justice shall grant the petition upon finding that:
      (1) The Rhode Island Supreme Court has decided the defendant's appeal; and
      (2) The defendant does not seek further preservation of the biological evidence.
      (c) Petition by defendant requesting testing. - Notwithstanding any other provision of
law governing postconviction relief, any person who was convicted of and sentenced for a crime
and who is currently serving an actual term of imprisonment and incarceration pursuant to that
sentence may, at any time, file a petition with the superior court requesting the forensic DNA
testing of any evidence that is in the possession or control of the prosecution, law enforcement,
laboratory, or court. A person filing a petition under this section must certify under the pains and
penalties of perjury that the requested testing is related to the investigation or prosecution that
resulted in the judgment of conviction and that the evidence sought to be tested contains
biological evidence.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.