S 429 - DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest - South Carolina Key Vote

Stage Details

See How Your Politicians Voted

Title: DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to override the Governor's veto of a bill that requires individuals to submit a saliva or tissue sample upon being arrested for a felony offense, eavesdropping, peeping, or stalking, allows prisoners to request a DNA sample be collected to prove their innocence, and allows families of missing persons to request comparison of the missing person's DNA against a database of unidentified human remains.


- Requires DNA records to be purged, upon request, if an individuals' charges have been nolle prossed, dismissed, or reduced below the requirements of inclusion in the database, if the person is found not guilty, or if their conviction has been reversed, set aside, or vacated [sec. 4 (F) (23-2-660)]. -Requires the custodian of evidence, or the agency or political subdivision that is responsible for the control of evidence during a criminal investigation or proceeding, to preserve all physical and biological evidence gathered until [sec. 2 (17-28-320)]:

    - The individual is released from incarceration; - The individual dies during incarceration; - The individual is executed for the offense; - Seven years after the sentencing date if the individual pled guilty or no contest.
- Allows prisoners who pled not guilty to at least one of the following offenses, but were ultimately convicted, to apply for forensic DNA testing in order to prove their innocence [sec. 1 (17-28-30) (A)]:
    - Murder; - Killing by poison, stabbing, or in a duel; - Voluntary manslaughter; - Homicide by child abuse; - Lynching; - Spousal sexual battery; - Criminal sexual conduct; - Sexual misconduct with an inmate; - Arson resulting in death; - Burglary with a sentence of at least ten years; - Armed robbery with a sentence of at least ten years; and - Additional crimes of negligence, destruction, obstruction, and accessory before the fact that resulted in death.
- Allows prisoners who pled guilty or no contest to at least one of the offenses listed above to apply for forensic DNA testing in order to prove their innocence within seven years of the sentencing date [sec. 1 (17-28-30) (B)]. - Requires prisoners who apply for DNA testing to include in their petition, under penalty of perjury, a reasonable attempt to specify what kinds of physical or biological material should be tested, why such evidence would probably change the result of the applicant's conviction if a new trial is granted, and how this petition is not filed simply to delay the execution of the applicant's sentence [sec. 1 (17-28-40) (C)]. - Allows the solicitor of the circuit in which the applicant was convicted, or the Attorney General if he or she prosecuted the case, to respond to the prisoner's petition within 90 days. The court shall proceed with a hearing if neither the solicitor nor the Attorney General respond to the petition within that time frame [sec. 1 (17-28-50) (B)]. - Requires coroners performing an autopsy on unidentified bodies to submit suitable DNA samples to the State Law Enforcement Division [sec. 3 (D) (17-7-25)]. - Allows family members of missing persons to submit DNA samples of the missing person to the State Law Enforcement Division to request a DNA comparison of that person and unidentified human remains if the person has been missing for at least thirty days, and a report has been sent to the Missing Person Information Center [sec. 3 (B) (23-3-625)]. - Classifies the willful and malicious hiding, changing, or destroying of biological evidence with intent to impair the integrity of the material as a misdemeanor, subject to a fine of $1,000 for the first offense, and either $5,000, one year imprisonment, or both for each subsequent offense [sec. 2 (17-28-350)]. - Increases penalties for the individuals who obtain DNA information from the state database without authorization from up to $500 to the greater of $10,000 or three times the amount of any financial gain achieved by the individual by releasing the DNA information, and from one year to five years imprisonment. A conviction may result in both a fine an imprisonment [sec. 4 (E) (23-3-650) (D)]. - Caps the funding to carry out the provisions of this Act at $150,000 per fiscal year [sec. 1 (17-28-120)]. - Establishes the effective date of this Act as January 1, 2009, except for the provisions concerning the penalties for the willful tampering with evidence, which becomes effective upon the signature of the Governor (Sec. 7).