SB 162 - This act modifies provisions relating to criminal procedure.
EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES (Sections 491.500 & 545.275)
Under this act, each law enforcement agency that uses eyewitness identification procedures must adopt written rules governing the procedures by January 1, 2014. The agency must submit the rules to the Department of Public Safety and biannually review the rules.
A list of practices that must be included within the rules is provided.
The court must consider failure to comply with the requirements for eyewitness identifications during any hearing on a motion to suppress identification evidence and when hearing claims of eyewitness misidentification.
When evidence of compliance or noncompliance with the rules is presented at trial, the court must instruct the jury that it may consider the compliance, or lack thereof, when judging the reliability of an identification.
This act allows a defendant to obtain a pretrial hearing on a motion to suppress eyewitness identification evidence upon demonstrating the existence of certain evidence that could lead to a mistaken identification. The burden then shifts to the state to prove the identification is reliable.
A non-exhaustive list of factors for the court to consider when determining whether to hold a hearing or approve the motion is provided.
The judge must approve the motion to suppress if he or she finds that a substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification exists.
This act provides that expert testimony on eyewitness identifications is admissible at the hearing and at trial.
In addition, if eyewitness identification evidence is admitted at trial, the court must instruct the jury on how to assess the reliability of the identification or on any factors in the particular case that might raise the risk of a misidentification.
JAILHOUSE INFORMANT TESTIMONY (Section 545.365)
This act requires prosecuting and circuit attorneys to follow certain procedures regarding testimony from jailhouse informants.
First, if the prosecuting attorney intends to call an informant to testify on any matter, he or she must disclose certain information regarding the informant to the defense attorney. This information includes a written statement, signed by the informant, his or her counsel, and the prosecuting attorney, detailing any promises made to the informant and a video or audio recording of any discussion or interview of the informant by law enforcement officers.
Any materials required to be disclosed under this act are admissible to impeach the credibility of the informant.
In order for the testimony of a jailhouse informant to be admissible at trial, the prosecuting attorney must file a motion and prove at a hearing that the testimony is reliable and that it is corroborated by other evidence.
This act provides a list of factors for the court to consider when ruling on the motion.
Whenever a jailhouse informant has testified at trial, the court must instruct the jury to consider the same factors for reliability that the court considered when admitting the evidence.
This act requires the Attorney General to create a registry of jailhouse informants that includes information presented at trial and disclosed to defense attorneys. The information is not public record and is only available to prosecuting and defense attorneys and law enforcement officers upon request.
POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING (Sections 547.035 & 547.037)
Under current law, a person who claims to be innocent of a crime for which the person is imprisoned may request to have DNA evidence tested to prove his or her innocence. This act allows a person who has been sentenced to death to have evidence tested to prove innocence of an aggravating factor that led to the person being sentenced to death even if the person cannot claim to be innocent of first degree murder.
Current law also limits post-conviction testing to evidence that has not previously been tested for DNA and evidence that was secured in relation to the crime for which the person is imprisoned. This act allows retesting of evidence that had previously been tested if additional testing would produce more probative results and removes the provision requiring the evidence be secured in relation to the crime.
If the testing demonstrates a person's innocence regarding an aggravating circumstance, the person may file a motion for a new sentence. The court must order the person to serve a life sentence without eligibility for parole upon finding that the testing demonstrates the person's innocence of the aggravating factor.
CUSTODIAL INTERROGATIONS (Section 590.700)
Under current law, custodial interrogations must be recorded when feasible. This act removes the phrase "when feasible".
Current law allows law enforcement officers to not record custodial interrogations when the equipment fails or is not available at the location of the interrogation. This act provides that, if the equipment fails or is not available, the law enforcement agency must demonstrate a good faith effort to maintain recording equipment for interrogations to be in compliance with the statute.
In addition, this act repeals the current penalty for failure to comply with the statute that allows the governor to withhold funding from the noncompliant law enforcement agency and a provision that prohibits compliance with the statute from being raised in a criminal trial.
Under this act, statements made during an unrecorded interrogation are presumed to be inadmissible in a criminal proceeding unless one of the statutory exceptions exists.
The presumption may be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence that the statement was voluntarily provided and is reliable.
This act also requires the preservation of electronic recordings of interrogations until the offender can no longer appeal a conviction or when prosecution of the offense is barred by law.
BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE PROCEDURES (Sections 650.056 & 650.075)
Current law requires investigating law enforcement agencies to preserve all DNA evidence leading to a conviction of certain types of felonies. Under this act, any biological evidence gathered during an investigation of the specified felonies must be preserved by the agency until any offender who was convicted and sentenced to prison as a result of the investigation has been released from prison. Biological evidence gathered during an investigation of first degree murder must be retained until five years after the offender has been executed or upon being pardoned or otherwise found innocent.
This act requires the evidence to be retained in a manner that preserves any possible DNA evidence for further testing. If the crime remains unsolved, the evidence must be preserved until the prosecuting attorney authorizes its destruction.
This act requires law enforcement agencies to develop written guidelines for the identification, collection, and preservation of biological evidence. In addition, crime labs are required to establish testing procedures.
Under this act, procedures are established for situations in which DNA testing will consume an entire biological sample.
These provisions are identical to provisions of SB 409 (2013), HB 575 (2013), and HB 619 (2013).