130th Ohio General Assembly
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(126th General Assembly)
(Substitute Senate Bill Number 262)



AN ACT
To amend sections 2901.07, 2953.21, 2953.23, 2953.71, 2953.72, 2953.73, 2953.74, 2953.78, 2953.80, and 2953.82 and to enact section 2953.84 of the Revised Code to eliminate the former two-year window for applications under a program for post-conviction DNA testing and instead allow an eligible inmate to request post-conviction DNA testing at any time if specified criteria are met, to provide for a court's consideration of all available admissible evidence in determining whether the program's applicable "outcome determinative" criterion is satisfied, and to make other changes related to post-conviction DNA testing; to specify that the DNA specimen collection procedures for felons and specified misdemeanors apply regardless of when the offender's conviction occurred or guilty plea was entered; and to declare an emergency.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 2901.07, 2953.21, 2953.23, 2953.71, 2953.72, 2953.73, 2953.74, 2953.78, 2953.80, and 2953.82 be amended and section 2953.84 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 2901.07.  (A) As used in this section:

(1) "DNA analysis" and "DNA specimen" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Jail" and "community-based correctional facility" have the same meanings as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Post-release control" has the same meaning as in section 2967.01 of the Revised Code.

(B)(1) A Regardless of when the conviction occurred or the guilty plea was entered, a person who has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to a felony offense and who is sentenced to a prison term or to a community residential sanction in a jail or community-based correctional facility for that offense pursuant to section 2929.16 of the Revised Code, and a person who has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of this section and who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment for that offense shall submit to a DNA specimen collection procedure administered by the director of rehabilitation and correction or the chief administrative officer of the jail or other detention facility in which the person is serving the term of imprisonment. If the person serves the prison term in a state correctional institution, the director of rehabilitation and correction shall cause the DNA specimen to be collected from the person during the intake process at the reception facility designated by the director. If the person serves the community residential sanction or term of imprisonment in a jail, a community-based correctional facility, or another county, multicounty, municipal, municipal-county, or multicounty-municipal detention facility, the chief administrative officer of the jail, community-based correctional facility, or detention facility shall cause the DNA specimen to be collected from the person during the intake process at the jail, community-based correctional facility, or detention facility. The DNA specimen shall be collected in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(2) If Regardless of when the conviction occurred or the guilty plea was entered, if a person has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of this section, is serving a prison term, community residential sanction, or term of imprisonment for that offense, and does not provide a DNA specimen pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section, prior to the person's release from the prison term, community residential sanction, or imprisonment, the person shall submit to, and the director of rehabilitation and correction or the chief administrative officer of the jail, community-based correctional facility, or detention facility in which the person is serving the prison term, community residential sanction, or term of imprisonment shall administer, a DNA specimen collection procedure at the state correctional institution, jail, community-based correctional facility, or detention facility in which the person is serving the prison term, community residential sanction, or term of imprisonment. The DNA specimen shall be collected in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(3)(a) If Regardless of when the conviction occurred or the guilty plea was entered, if a person has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of this section and the person is on probation, released on parole, under transitional control, on community control, on post-release control, or under any other type of supervised release under the supervision of a probation department or the adult parole authority for that offense, the person shall submit to a DNA specimen collection procedure administered by the chief administrative officer of the probation department or the adult parole authority. The DNA specimen shall be collected in accordance with division (C) of this section. If the person refuses to submit to a DNA specimen collection procedure as provided in this division, the person may be subject to the provisions of section 2967.15 of the Revised Code.

(b) If the a person to whom division (B)(3)(a) of this section applies is sent to jail or is returned to a jail, community-based correctional facility, or state correctional institution for a violation of the terms and conditions of the probation, parole, transitional control, other release, or post-release control, if the person was or will be serving a term of imprisonment, prison term, or community residential sanction for committing a felony offense or for committing a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of this section, and if the person did not provide a DNA specimen pursuant to division (B)(1), (2) or (3)(a) of this section, the person shall submit to, and the director of rehabilitation and correction or the chief administrative officer of the jail or community-based correctional facility shall administer, a DNA specimen collection procedure at the jail, community-based correctional facility, or state correctional institution in which the person is serving the term of imprisonment, prison term, or community residential sanction. The DNA specimen shall be collected from the person in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(4) If Regardless of when the conviction occurred or the guilty plea was entered, if a person has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of this section, the person is not sentenced to a prison term, a community residential sanction in a jail or community-based correctional facility, a term of imprisonment, or any type of supervised release under the supervision of a probation department or the adult parole authority, and the person does not provide a DNA specimen pursuant to division (B)(1), (2), (3)(a), or (3)(b) of this section, the sentencing court shall order the person to report to the county probation department immediately after sentencing to submit to a DNA specimen collection procedure administered by the chief administrative officer of the county probation office. If the person is incarcerated at the time of sentencing, the person shall submit to a DNA specimen collection procedure administered by the director of rehabilitation and correction or the chief administrative officer of the jail or other detention facility in which the person is incarcerated. The DNA specimen shall be collected in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(C) If the DNA specimen is collected by withdrawing blood from the person or a similarly invasive procedure, a physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, duly licensed clinical laboratory technician, or other qualified medical practitioner shall collect in a medically approved manner the DNA specimen required to be collected pursuant to division (B) of this section. If the DNA specimen is collected by swabbing for buccal cells or a similarly noninvasive procedure, this section does not require that the DNA specimen be collected by a qualified medical practitioner of that nature. No later than fifteen days after the date of the collection of the DNA specimen, the director of rehabilitation and correction or the chief administrative officer of the jail, community-based correctional facility, or other county, multicounty, municipal, municipal-county, or multicounty-municipal detention facility, in which the person is serving the prison term, community residential sanction, or term of imprisonment shall cause the DNA specimen to be forwarded to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent of the bureau under division (H) of section 109.573 of the Revised Code. The bureau shall provide the specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instructions needed for the collection and forwarding of the DNA specimen to the bureau.

(D) The director of rehabilitation and correction, the chief administrative officer of the jail, community-based correctional facility, or other county, multicounty, municipal, municipal-county, or multicounty-municipal detention facility, or the chief administrative officer of a county probation department or the adult parole authority shall cause a DNA specimen to be collected in accordance with divisions (B) and (C) of this section from a person in its custody or under its supervision who has been convicted of, is convicted of, has pleaded guilty to, or pleads guilty to any felony offense or to any of the following misdemeanor offenses:

(1) A misdemeanor violation, an attempt to commit a misdemeanor violation, or complicity in committing a misdemeanor violation of section 2907.04 of the Revised Code;

(2) A misdemeanor violation of any law that arose out of the same facts and circumstances and same act as did a charge against the person of a violation of section 2903.01, 2903.02, 2905.01, 2907.02, 2907.03, 2907.04, 2907.05, or 2911.11 of the Revised Code that previously was dismissed or amended or as did a charge against the person of a violation of section 2907.12 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to September 3, 1996, that previously was dismissed or amended;

(3) A misdemeanor violation of section 2919.23 of the Revised Code that would have been a violation of section 2905.04 of the Revised Code as it existed prior to July 1, 1996, had it been committed prior to that date;

(4) A sexually oriented offense or a child-victim oriented offense, both as defined in section 2950.01 of the Revised Code, that is a misdemeanor, if, in relation to that offense, the offender has been adjudicated a sexual predator, child-victim predator, habitual sex offender, or habitual child-victim offender, all as defined in section 2950.01 of the Revised Code.

(E) The director of rehabilitation and correction may prescribe rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to collect a DNA specimen, as provided in this section, from an offender whose supervision is transferred from another state to this state in accordance with the interstate compact for adult offender supervision described in section 5149.21 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2953.21.  (A)(1)(a) Any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense or adjudicated a delinquent child and who claims that there was such a denial or infringement of the person's rights as to render the judgment void or voidable under the Ohio Constitution or the Constitution of the United States, and any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense that is a felony, who is an inmate, and for whom DNA testing that was performed under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code or under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code and analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the inmate's case as described in division (D) of section 2953.74 of the Revised Code provided results that establish, by clear and convincing evidence, actual innocence of that felony offense or, if the person was sentenced to death, establish, by clear and convincing evidence, actual innocence of the aggravating circumstance or circumstances the person was found guilty of committing and that is or are the basis of that sentence of death, may file a petition in the court that imposed sentence, stating the grounds for relief relied upon, and asking the court to vacate or set aside the judgment or sentence or to grant other appropriate relief. The petitioner may file a supporting affidavit and other documentary evidence in support of the claim for relief.

(b) As used in division (A)(1)(a) of this section, "actual innocence" means that, had the results of the DNA testing conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code or under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code been presented at trial, and had those results been analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the inmate's case as described in division (D) of section 2953.74 of the Revised Code, no reasonable factfinder would have found the petitioner guilty of the offense of which the petitioner was convicted, or, if the person was sentenced to death, no reasonable factfinder would have found the petitioner guilty of the aggravating circumstance or circumstances the petitioner was found guilty of committing and that is or are the basis of that sentence of death.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in section 2953.23 of the Revised Code, a petition under division (A)(1) of this section shall be filed no later than one hundred eighty days after the date on which the trial transcript is filed in the court of appeals in the direct appeal of the judgment of conviction or adjudication or, if the direct appeal involves a sentence of death, the date on which the trial transcript is filed in the supreme court. If no appeal is taken, except as otherwise provided in section 2953.23 of the Revised Code, the petition shall be filed no later than one hundred eighty days after the expiration of the time for filing the appeal.

(3) In a petition filed under division (A) of this section, a person who has been sentenced to death may ask the court to render void or voidable the judgment with respect to the conviction of aggravated murder or the specification of an aggravating circumstance or the sentence of death.

(4) A petitioner shall state in the original or amended petition filed under division (A) of this section all grounds for relief claimed by the petitioner. Except as provided in section 2953.23 of the Revised Code, any ground for relief that is not so stated in the petition is waived.

(5) If the petitioner in a petition filed under division (A) of this section was convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony, the petition may include a claim that the petitioner was denied the equal protection of the laws in violation of the Ohio Constitution or the United States Constitution because the sentence imposed upon the petitioner for the felony was part of a consistent pattern of disparity in sentencing by the judge who imposed the sentence, with regard to the petitioner's race, gender, ethnic background, or religion. If the supreme court adopts a rule requiring a court of common pleas to maintain information with regard to an offender's race, gender, ethnic background, or religion, the supporting evidence for the petition shall include, but shall not be limited to, a copy of that type of information relative to the petitioner's sentence and copies of that type of information relative to sentences that the same judge imposed upon other persons.

(B) The clerk of the court in which the petition is filed shall docket the petition and bring it promptly to the attention of the court. The clerk of the court in which the petition is filed immediately shall forward a copy of the petition to the prosecuting attorney of that county.

(C) The court shall consider a petition that is timely filed under division (A)(2) of this section even if a direct appeal of the judgment is pending. Before granting a hearing on a petition filed under division (A) of this section, the court shall determine whether there are substantive grounds for relief. In making such a determination, the court shall consider, in addition to the petition, the supporting affidavits, and the documentary evidence, all the files and records pertaining to the proceedings against the petitioner, including, but not limited to, the indictment, the court's journal entries, the journalized records of the clerk of the court, and the court reporter's transcript. The court reporter's transcript, if ordered and certified by the court, shall be taxed as court costs. If the court dismisses the petition, it shall make and file findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to such dismissal.

(D) Within ten days after the docketing of the petition, or within any further time that the court may fix for good cause shown, the prosecuting attorney shall respond by answer or motion. Within twenty days from the date the issues are raised, either party may move for summary judgment. The right to summary judgment shall appear on the face of the record.

(E) Unless the petition and the files and records of the case show the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the court shall proceed to a prompt hearing on the issues even if a direct appeal of the case is pending. If the court notifies the parties that it has found grounds for granting relief, either party may request an appellate court in which a direct appeal of the judgment is pending to remand the pending case to the court.

(F) At any time before the answer or motion is filed, the petitioner may amend the petition with or without leave or prejudice to the proceedings. The petitioner may amend the petition with leave of court at any time thereafter.

(G) If the court does not find grounds for granting relief, it shall make and file findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall enter judgment denying relief on the petition. If no direct appeal of the case is pending and the court finds grounds for relief or if a pending direct appeal of the case has been remanded to the court pursuant to a request made pursuant to division (E) of this section and the court finds grounds for granting relief, it shall make and file findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall enter a judgment that vacates and sets aside the judgment in question, and, in the case of a petitioner who is a prisoner in custody, shall discharge or resentence the petitioner or grant a new trial as the court determines appropriate. The court also may make supplementary orders to the relief granted, concerning such matters as rearraignment, retrial, custody, and bail. If the trial court's order granting the petition is reversed on appeal and if the direct appeal of the case has been remanded from an appellate court pursuant to a request under division (E) of this section, the appellate court reversing the order granting the petition shall notify the appellate court in which the direct appeal of the case was pending at the time of the remand of the reversal and remand of the trial court's order. Upon the reversal and remand of the trial court's order granting the petition, regardless of whether notice is sent or received, the direct appeal of the case that was remanded is reinstated.

(H) Upon the filing of a petition pursuant to division (A) of this section by a person sentenced to death, only the supreme court may stay execution of the sentence of death.

(I)(1) If a person sentenced to death intends to file a petition under this section, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the person upon a finding that the person is indigent and that the person either accepts the appointment of counsel or is unable to make a competent decision whether to accept or reject the appointment of counsel. The court may decline to appoint counsel for the person only upon a finding, after a hearing if necessary, that the person rejects the appointment of counsel and understands the legal consequences of that decision or upon a finding that the person is not indigent.

(2) The court shall not appoint as counsel under division (I)(1) of this section an attorney who represented the petitioner at trial in the case to which the petition relates unless the person and the attorney expressly request the appointment. The court shall appoint as counsel under division (I)(1) of this section only an attorney who is certified under Rule 20 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio to represent indigent defendants charged with or convicted of an offense for which the death penalty can be or has been imposed. The ineffectiveness or incompetence of counsel during proceedings under this section does not constitute grounds for relief in a proceeding under this section, in an appeal of any action under this section, or in an application to reopen a direct appeal.

(3) Division (I) of this section does not preclude attorneys who represent the state of Ohio from invoking the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 154 with respect to capital cases that were pending in federal habeas corpus proceedings prior to the effective date of this amendment July 1, 1996, insofar as the petitioners in those cases were represented in proceedings under this section by one or more counsel appointed by the court under this section or section 120.06, 120.16, 120.26, or 120.33 of the Revised Code and those appointed counsel meet the requirements of division (I)(2) of this section.

(J) Subject to the appeal of a sentence for a felony that is authorized by section 2953.08 of the Revised Code, the remedy set forth in this section is the exclusive remedy by which a person may bring a collateral challenge to the validity of a conviction or sentence in a criminal case or to the validity of an adjudication of a child as a delinquent child for the commission of an act that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult or the validity of a related order of disposition.

Sec. 2953.23.  (A) Whether a hearing is or is not held on a petition filed pursuant to section 2953.21 of the Revised Code, a court may not entertain a petition filed after the expiration of the period prescribed in division (A) of that section or a second petition or successive petitions for similar relief on behalf of a petitioner unless division (A)(1) or (2) of this section applies:

(1) Both of the following apply:

(a) Either the petitioner shows that the petitioner was unavoidably prevented from discovery of the facts upon which the petitioner must rely to present the claim for relief, or, subsequent to the period prescribed in division (A)(2) of section 2953.21 of the Revised Code or to the filing of an earlier petition, the United States Supreme Court recognized a new federal or state right that applies retroactively to persons in the petitioner's situation, and the petition asserts a claim based on that right.

(b) The petitioner shows by clear and convincing evidence that, but for constitutional error at trial, no reasonable factfinder would have found the petitioner guilty of the offense of which the petitioner was convicted or, if the claim challenges a sentence of death that, but for constitutional error at the sentencing hearing, no reasonable factfinder would have found the petitioner eligible for the death sentence.

(2) The petitioner was convicted of a felony, the petitioner is an inmate for whom DNA testing was performed under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code or under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code and analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the inmate's case as described in division (D) of section 2953.74 of the Revised Code, and the results of the DNA testing establish, by clear and convincing evidence, actual innocence of that felony offense or, if the person was sentenced to death, establish, by clear and convincing evidence, actual innocence of the aggravating circumstance or circumstances the person was found guilty of committing and that is or are the basis of that sentence of death.

As used in this division, "actual innocence" has the same meaning as in division (A)(1)(b) of section 2953.21 of the Revised Code.

(B) An order awarding or denying relief sought in a petition filed pursuant to section 2953.21 of the Revised Code is a final judgment and may be appealed pursuant to Chapter 2953. of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2953.71. As used in sections 2953.71 to 2953.83 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Application" or "application for DNA testing" means a request through postconviction relief for the state to do DNA testing on biological material from whichever of the following is applicable:

(1) The case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code;

(2) The case in which the inmate pleaded guilty or no contest to the offense for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code.

(B) "Biological material" means any product of a human body containing DNA.

(C) "Chain of custody" means a record or other evidence that tracks a subject sample of biological material from the time the biological material was first obtained until the time it currently exists in its place of storage and, in relation to a DNA sample, a record or other evidence that tracks the DNA sample from the time it was first obtained until it currently exists in its place of storage. For purposes of this division, examples of when biological material or a DNA sample is first obtained include, but are not limited to, obtaining the material or sample at the scene of a crime, from a victim, from an inmate, or in any other manner or time as is appropriate in the facts and circumstances present.

(D) "Custodial agency" means the group or entity that has the responsibility to maintain biological material in question.

(E) "Custodian" means the person who is the primary representative of a custodial agency.

(F) "Eligible inmate" means an inmate who is eligible under division (C) of section 2953.72 of the Revised Code to request DNA testing to be conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Exclusion" or "exclusion result" means a result of DNA testing that scientifically precludes or forecloses the subject inmate as a contributor of biological material recovered from the crime scene or victim in question, in relation to the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and for which the sentence of death or prison term was imposed upon the inmate or, regarding a request for DNA testing made under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, in relation to the offense for which the inmate made the request and for which the sentence of death or prison term was imposed upon the inmate.

(H) "Extracting personnel" means medically approved personnel who are employed to physically obtain an inmate DNA specimen for purposes of DNA testing under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 or section 2953.82 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Inclusion" or "inclusion result" means a result of DNA testing that scientifically cannot exclude, or that holds accountable, the subject inmate as a contributor of biological material recovered from the crime scene or victim in question, in relation to the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and for which the sentence of death or prison term was imposed upon the inmate or, regarding a request for DNA testing made under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, in relation to the offense for which the inmate made the request and for which the sentence of death or prison term was imposed upon the inmate.

(J) "Inconclusive" or "inconclusive result" means a result of DNA testing that is rendered when a scientifically appropriate and definitive DNA analysis or result, or both, cannot be determined.

(K) "Inmate" means an inmate in a prison who was sentenced by a court, or by a jury and a court, of this state.

(L) "Outcome determinative" means that had the results of DNA testing of the subject inmate been presented at the trial of the subject inmate requesting DNA testing and been found relevant and admissible with respect to the felony offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing or for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, and had those results been analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the inmate's case as described in division (D) of section 2953.74 of the Revised Code, there is a strong probability that no reasonable factfinder would have found the inmate guilty of that offense or, if the inmate was sentenced to death relative to that offense, would have found the inmate guilty of the aggravating circumstance or circumstances the inmate was found guilty of committing and that is or are the basis of that sentence of death.

(M) "Parent sample" means the biological material first obtained from a crime scene or a victim of an offense for which an inmate is an eligible inmate or for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, and from which a sample will be presently taken to do a DNA comparison to the DNA of the subject inmate under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 or section 2953.82 of the Revised Code.

(N) "Prison" has the same meaning as in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(O) "Prosecuting attorney" means the prosecuting attorney who, or whose office, prosecuted the case in which the subject inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing or for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code.

(P) "Prosecuting authority" means the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general.

(Q) "Reasonable diligence" means a degree of diligence that is comparable to the diligence a reasonable person would employ in searching for information regarding an important matter in the person's own life.

(R) "Testing authority" means a laboratory at which DNA testing will be conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 or section 2953.82 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2953.72. (A) Any eligible inmate who wishes to request DNA testing under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code shall submit an application for the testing to the court of common pleas specified in section 2953.73 of the Revised Code, on a form prescribed by the attorney general for this purpose. The eligible inmate shall submit the application within the period of time, and in accordance with the procedures, set forth in section 2953.73 of the Revised Code. The eligible inmate shall specify on the application the offense or offenses for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing. Along with the application, the eligible inmate shall submit an acknowledgment that is on a form prescribed by the attorney general for this purpose and that is signed by the inmate. The acknowledgment shall set forth all of the following:

(1) That sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code contemplate applications for DNA testing of eligible inmates at a stage of a prosecution or case after the inmate has been sentenced to a prison term or a sentence of death, that any exclusion or inclusion result of DNA testing rendered pursuant to those sections may be used by a party in any proceeding as described in section 2953.81 of the Revised Code, and that all requests for any DNA testing made at trial will continue to be handled by the prosecuting attorney in the case;

(2) That the process of conducting postconviction DNA testing for an eligible inmate under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code begins when the inmate submits an application under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and the acknowledgment described in this section;

(3) That the eligible inmate must submit the application and acknowledgment to the court of common pleas that heard the case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible offender and is requesting the DNA testing;

(4) That the state has established a set of criteria set forth in section 2953.74 of the Revised Code by which eligible inmate applications for DNA testing will be screened and that a judge of a court of common pleas upon receipt of a properly filed application and accompanying acknowledgment will apply those criteria to determine whether to accept or reject the application;

(5) That the results of DNA testing conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code will be provided as described in section 2953.81 of the Revised Code to all parties in the postconviction proceedings and will be reported to various courts;

(6) That, if DNA testing is conducted with respect to an inmate under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code, the state will not offer the inmate a retest if an inclusion result is achieved relative to the testing and that, if the state were to offer a retest after an inclusion result, the policy would create an atmosphere in which endless testing could occur and in which postconviction proceedings could be stalled for many years;

(7) That, if the court rejects an eligible inmate's application for DNA testing because the inmate does not satisfy the acceptance criteria described in division (A)(4) of this section, the court will not accept or consider subsequent applications;

(8) That the acknowledgment memorializes the provisions of sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code with respect to the application of postconviction DNA testing to inmates, that those provisions do not give any inmate any additional constitutional right that the inmate did not already have prior to the effective date of those provisions, that the court has no duty or obligation to provide postconviction DNA testing to inmates, that the court of common pleas has the sole discretion subject to an appeal as described in this division to determine whether an inmate is an eligible inmate and whether an eligible inmate's application for DNA testing satisfies the acceptance criteria described in division (A)(4) of this section and whether the application should be accepted or rejected, that if the court of common pleas rejects an eligible inmate's application, the inmate may seek leave of the supreme court to appeal the rejection to that court if the inmate was sentenced to death for the offense for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing and, if the inmate was not sentenced to death for that offense, may appeal the rejection to the court of appeals, and that no determination otherwise made by the court of common pleas in the exercise of its discretion regarding the eligibility of an inmate or regarding postconviction DNA testing under those provisions is reviewable by or appealable to any court;

(9) That the manner in which sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code with respect to the offering of postconviction DNA testing to inmates are carried out does not confer any constitutional right upon any inmate, that the state has established guidelines and procedures relative to those provisions to ensure that they are carried out with both justice and efficiency in mind, and that an inmate who participates in any phase of the mechanism contained in those provisions, including, but not limited to, applying for DNA testing and being rejected, having an application for DNA testing accepted and not receiving the test, or having DNA testing conducted and receiving unfavorable results, does not gain as a result of the participation any constitutional right to challenge, or, except as provided in division (A)(8) of this section, any right to any review or appeal of, the manner in which those provisions are carried out;

(10) That the most basic aspect of sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code is that, in order for DNA testing to occur, there must be an inmate sample against which other evidence may be compared, that, if an eligible inmate's application is accepted but the inmate subsequently refuses to submit to the collection of the sample of biological material from the inmate or hinders the state from obtaining a sample of biological material from the inmate, the goal of those provisions will be frustrated, and that an inmate's refusal or hindrance shall cause the court to rescind its prior acceptance of the application for DNA testing for the inmate and deny the application;

(11) That, if the inmate is an inmate who pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony offense and who is using the application and acknowledgment to request DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, all references in the acknowledgment to an "eligible inmate" are considered to be references to, and apply to, the inmate and all references in the acknowledgment to "sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code" are considered to be references to "section 2953.82 of the Revised Code"."

(B) The attorney general shall prescribe a form to be used to make an application for DNA testing under division (A) of this section and section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and a form to be used to provide the acknowledgment described in division (A) of this section. The forms shall include all information described in division (A) of this section, spaces for an inmate to insert all information necessary to complete the forms, including, but not limited to, specifying the offense or offenses for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing or for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, and any other information or material the attorney general determines is necessary or relevant. The forms also shall be used to make an application requesting DNA testing under section 2953.82 of the Revised Code, and the attorney general shall ensure that they are sufficient for that type of use, and that they include all information and spaces necessary for that type of use. The attorney general shall distribute copies of the prescribed forms to the department of rehabilitation and correction, the department shall ensure that each prison in which inmates are housed has a supply of copies of the forms, and the department shall ensure that copies of the forms are provided free of charge to any inmate who requests them.

(C)(1) An inmate is eligible to request DNA testing to be conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code only if all of the following apply:

(a) The offense for which the inmate claims to be an eligible inmate is a felony that was committed prior to the effective date of this section, and the inmate was convicted by a judge or jury of that offense.

(b) The inmate was sentenced to a prison term or sentence of death for the felony described in division (C)(1)(a) of this section and, on the effective date of this section, is in prison serving that prison term or under that sentence of death.

(c) On the date on which the application is filed, the inmate has at least one year remaining on the prison term described in division (C)(1)(b) of this section, or the inmate is in prison under a sentence of death as described in that division.

(2) An inmate is not an eligible inmate under division (C)(1) of this section regarding any offense to which the inmate pleaded guilty or no contest.

Sec. 2953.73. (A) An eligible inmate who wishes to request DNA testing to be conducted under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code shall submit an application for DNA testing on a form prescribed by the attorney general for this purpose and shall submit the form to the court of common pleas that sentenced the inmate for the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting DNA testing. The eligible inmate shall submit the application to that court of common pleas not later than two years after October 29, 2003. No court of common pleas shall accept an application under this section after the expiration of the period of time specified in this division.

(B) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under division (A) of this section, upon the submission of the application, all of the following apply:

(1) The eligible inmate shall serve a copy of the application on the prosecuting attorney and the attorney general.

(2) The application shall be assigned to the judge of that court of common pleas who was the trial judge in the case in which the eligible inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is requesting DNA testing, or, if that judge no longer is a judge of that court, it shall be assigned according to court rules. The judge to whom the application is assigned shall decide the application. The application shall become part of the file in the case.

(C) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under division (A) of this section, regardless of whether the inmate has commenced any federal habeas corpus proceeding relative to the case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting DNA testing, any response to the application by the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general shall be filed not later than forty-five days after the date on which the eligible inmate submits the application. The prosecuting attorney or the attorney general, or both, may, but are not required to, file a response to the application. If the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general files a response under this division, the prosecuting attorney or attorney general, whoever filed the response, shall serve a copy of the response on the eligible inmate.

(D) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under division (A) of this section, the court shall make the determination as to whether the application should be accepted or rejected. The court shall expedite its review of the application. The court shall make the determination in accordance with the criteria and procedures set forth in sections 2953.74 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code and, in making the determination, shall consider the application, the supporting affidavits, and the documentary evidence and, in addition to those materials, shall consider all the files and records pertaining to the proceedings against the applicant, including, but not limited to, the indictment, the court's journal entries, the journalized records of the clerk of the court, and the court reporter's transcript and all responses to the application filed under division (C) of this section by a prosecuting attorney or the attorney general, unless the application and the files and records show the applicant is not entitled to DNA testing, in which case the application may be denied. The court is not required to conduct an evidentiary hearing in conducting its review of, and in making its determination as to whether to accept or reject, the application. Upon making its determination, the court shall enter a judgment and order that either accepts or rejects the application and that includes within the judgment and order the reasons for the acceptance or rejection as applied to the criteria and procedures set forth in sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code. The court shall send a copy of the judgment and order to the eligible inmate who filed it, the prosecuting attorney, and the attorney general.

(E) A judgment and order of a court entered under division (D) of this section is appealable only as provided in this division. If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and the court of common pleas rejects the application under division (D) of this section, one of the following applies:

(1) If the inmate was sentenced to death for the offense for which the inmate claims to be an eligible inmate and is requesting DNA testing, the inmate may seek leave of the supreme court to appeal the rejection to the supreme court. Courts of appeals do not have jurisdiction to review any rejection if the inmate was sentenced to death for the offense for which the inmate claims to be an eligible inmate and is requesting DNA testing.

(2) If the inmate was not sentenced to death for the offense for which the inmate claims to be an eligible inmate and is requesting DNA testing, the rejection is a final appealable order, and the inmate may appeal it to the court of appeals of the district in which is located that court of common pleas.

(F) Notwithstanding any provision of law regarding fees and costs, no filing fee shall be required of, and no court costs shall be assessed against, an eligible offender who is indigent and who submits an application under this section.

(G) If a court rejects an eligible inmate's application for DNA testing under division (D) of this section, unless the rejection is overturned on appeal, no court shall require the state to administer a DNA test under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code on the eligible inmate.

Sec. 2953.74. (A) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and a prior definitive DNA test has been conducted regarding the same biological evidence that the inmate seeks to have tested, the court shall reject the inmate's application. If an eligible inmate files an application for DNA testing and a prior inconclusive DNA test has been conducted regarding the same biological evidence that the inmate seeks to have tested, the court shall review the application and has the discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to either accept or reject the application. The court may direct a testing authority to provide the court with information that the court may use in determining whether prior DNA test results were definitive or inconclusive and whether to accept or reject an application in relation to which there were prior inconclusive DNA test results.

(B) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code, the court may accept the application only if one of the following applies:

(1) The inmate did not have a DNA test taken at the trial stage in the case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing regarding the same biological evidence that the inmate seeks to have tested, the inmate shows that DNA exclusion when analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the subject inmate's case as described in division (D) of this section would have been outcome determinative at that trial stage in that case, and, at the time of the trial stage in that case, DNA testing was not generally accepted, the results of DNA testing were not generally admissible in evidence, or DNA testing was not yet available.

(2) The inmate had a DNA test taken at the trial stage in the case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing regarding the same biological evidence that the inmate seeks to have tested, the test was not a prior definitive DNA test that is subject to division (A) of this section, and the inmate shows that DNA exclusion when analyzed in the context of and upon consideration of all available admissible evidence related to the subject inmate's case as described in division (D) of this section would have been outcome determinative at the trial stage in that case.

(C) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code, the court may accept the application only if all of the following apply:

(1) The court determines pursuant to section 2953.75 of the Revised Code that biological material was collected from the crime scene or the victim of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing and that the parent sample of that biological material against which a sample from the inmate can be compared still exists at that point in time.

(2) The testing authority determines all of the following pursuant to section 2953.76 of the Revised Code regarding the parent sample of the biological material described in division (C)(1) of this section:

(a) The parent sample of the biological material so collected contains scientifically sufficient material to extract a test sample.

(b) The parent sample of the biological material so collected is not so minute or fragile as to risk destruction of the parent sample by the extraction described in division (D)(C)(2)(a) of this section; provided that the court may determine in its discretion, on a case-by-case basis, that, even if the parent sample of the biological material so collected is so minute or fragile as to risk destruction of the parent sample by the extraction, the application should not be rejected solely on the basis of that risk.

(c) The parent sample of the biological material so collected has not degraded or been contaminated to the extent that it has become scientifically unsuitable for testing, and the parent sample otherwise has been preserved, and remains, in a condition that is scientifically suitable for testing.

(3) The court determines that, at the trial stage in the case in which the inmate was convicted of the offense for which the inmate is an eligible inmate and is requesting the DNA testing, the identity of the person who committed the offense was an issue.

(4) The court determines that one or more of the defense theories asserted by the inmate at the trial stage in the case described in division (C)(3) of this section or in a retrial of that case in a court of this state was of such a nature that, if DNA testing is conducted and an exclusion result is obtained, the exclusion result will be outcome determinative.

(5) The court determines that, if DNA testing is conducted and an exclusion result is obtained, the results of the testing will be outcome determinative regarding that inmate.

(6) The court determines pursuant to section 2953.76 of the Revised Code from the chain of custody of the parent sample of the biological material to be tested and of any test sample extracted from the parent sample, and from the totality of circumstances involved, that the parent sample and the extracted test sample are the same sample as collected and that there is no reason to believe that they have been out of state custody or have been tampered with or contaminated since they were collected.

(D) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code, the court, in determining whether the "outcome determinative" criterion described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section has been satisfied, shall consider all available admissible evidence related to the subject inmate's case.

(E) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and the court accepts the application, the eligible inmate may request the court to order, or the court on its own initiative may order, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation to compare the results of DNA testing of biological material from an unidentified person other than the inmate that was obtained from the crime scene or from a victim of the offense for which the inmate has been approved for DNA testing to the combined DNA index system maintained by the federal bureau of investigation.

If the bureau, upon comparing the test results to the combined DNA index system, determines the identity of the person who is the contributor of the biological material, the bureau shall provide that information to the court that accepted the application, the inmate, and the prosecuting attorney. The inmate or the state may use the information for any lawful purpose.

If the bureau, upon comparing the test results to the combined DNA index system, is unable to determine the identity of the person who is the contributor of the biological material, the bureau may compare the test results to other previously obtained and acceptable DNA test results of any person whose identity is known other than the eligible inmate. If the bureau, upon comparing the test results to the DNA test results of any person whose identity is known, determines that the person whose identity is known is the contributor of the biological material, the bureau shall provide that information to the court that accepted the application, the inmate, and the prosecuting attorney. The inmate or the state may use the information for any lawful purpose.

Sec. 2953.78.  (A) If an eligible inmate submits an application for DNA testing under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code and if the application is accepted and DNA testing is to be performed, the court shall select the testing authority to be used for the testing. A court shall not select or use a testing authority for DNA testing unless the attorney general approves or designates the testing authority pursuant to division (C) of this section and unless the testing authority satisfies the criteria set forth in section 2953.80 of the Revised Code.

(B) If a court selects a testing authority pursuant to division (A) of this section and the eligible inmate for whom the test is to be performed objects to the use of the selected testing authority, the court shall rescind its prior acceptance of the application for DNA testing for the inmate and deny the application. An objection as described in this division, and the resulting rescission and denial, do not preclude a court from accepting in the court's discretion, a subsequent application by the same eligible inmate requesting DNA testing.

(C) The attorney general shall approve or designate testing authorities that may be selected and used to conduct DNA testing, shall prepare a list of the approved or designated testing authorities, and shall provide copies of the list to all courts of common pleas. The attorney general shall update the list as appropriate to reflect changes in the approved or designated testing authorities and shall provide copies of the updated list to all courts of common pleas. The attorney general shall not approve or designate a testing authority under this division unless the testing authority satisfies the criteria set forth in section 2953.80 of the Revised Code. A testing authority that is equipped to handle advanced DNA testing may be approved or designated under this division, provided it satisfies the criteria set forth in that section.

(D) The attorney general's approval or designation of testing authorities under division (C) of this section, and the selection and use of any approved or designated testing authority, do not afford an inmate any right to subsequently challenge the approval, designation, selection, or use, and an inmate may not appeal to any court the approval, designation, selection, or use of a testing authority.

Sec. 2953.80.  (A) The attorney general shall not approve or designate a testing authority for conducting DNA testing under section 2953.78 of the Revised Code, and a court shall not select or use a testing authority for DNA testing under that section, unless the testing authority satisfies all of the following criteria:

(1) It is in compliance with nationally accepted quality assurance standards for forensic DNA testing or advanced DNA testing, as published in the quality assurance standards for forensic DNA testing laboratories issued by the director of the federal bureau of investigation.

(2) It undergoes an annual internal or external audit for quality assurance in conformity with the standards identified in division (A)(1) of this section.

(3) At least once in the preceding two-year period, and at least once each two-year period thereafter, it undergoes an external audit for quality assurance in conformity with the standards identified in division (A)(1) of this section.

(B) As used in division (A) of this section:

(1) "External audit" means a quality assurance review of a testing authority that is conducted by a forensic DNA testing agency outside of, and not affiliated with, the testing authority.

(2) "Internal audit" means an internal review of a testing authority that is conducted by the testing authority itself.

Sec. 2953.82.  (A) An inmate who pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony offense that was committed prior to October 29, 2003 may request DNA testing under this section regarding that offense if all of the following apply:

(1) The inmate was sentenced to a prison term or sentence of death for that felony and, on October 29, 2003, is in prison serving that prison term or under that sentence of death.

(2) On the date on which the inmate files the application requesting the testing with the court as described in division (B) of this section, the inmate has at least one year remaining on the prison term described in division (A)(1) of this section, or the inmate is in prison under a sentence of death as described in that division.

(B) An inmate who pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony offense that was committed prior to October 29, 2003, who satisfies the criteria set forth in division (A) of this section, and who wishes to request DNA testing under this section shall submit, in accordance with this division, an application for the testing to the court of common pleas and. Upon submitting the application to the court, the inmate shall serve a copy on the prosecuting attorney. The inmate shall specify on the application the offense or offenses for which the inmate is requesting the DNA testing under this section. Along with the application, the inmate shall submit an acknowledgment that is signed by the inmate. The application and acknowledgment required under this division shall be the same application and acknowledgment as are used by eligible inmates who request DNA testing under sections 2953.71 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code.

The inmate shall file the application with the court of common pleas not later than two years after October 29, 2003. Upon filing the application, the inmate shall serve a copy on the prosecuting attorney.

(C) Within forty-five days after the filing of an application for DNA testing under division (B) of this section, the prosecuting attorney shall file a statement with the court that indicates whether the prosecuting attorney agrees or disagrees that the inmate should be permitted to obtain DNA testing under this section. If the prosecuting attorney agrees that the inmate should be permitted to obtain DNA testing under this section, all of the following apply:

(1) The application and the written statement shall be considered for all purposes as if they were an application for DNA testing filed under section 2953.73 of the Revised Code that the court accepted, and the court, the prosecuting attorney, the attorney general, the inmate, law enforcement personnel, and all other involved persons shall proceed regarding DNA testing for the inmate pursuant to sections 2953.77 to 2953.81 of the Revised Code, in the same manner as if the inmate was an eligible inmate for whom an application for DNA testing had been accepted.

(2) Upon completion of the DNA testing, section 2953.81 of the Revised Code applies.

(D) If the prosecuting attorney disagrees that the inmate should be permitted to obtain DNA testing under this section, the prosecuting attorney's disagreement is final and is not appealable by any person to any court, and no court shall have authority, without agreement of the prosecuting attorney, to order DNA testing regarding that inmate and the offense or offenses for which the inmate requested DNA testing in the application.

(E) If the prosecuting attorney fails to file a statement of agreement or disagreement within the time provided in division (C) of this section, the court may order the prosecuting attorney to file a statement of that nature within fifteen days of the date of the order.

Sec. 2953.84.  The provisions of sections 2953.71 to 2953.82 of the Revised Code by which an inmate may obtain postconviction DNA testing are not the exclusive means by which an inmate may obtain postconviction DNA testing, and the provisions of those sections do not limit or affect any other means by which an inmate may obtain postconviction DNA testing.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 2901.07, 2953.21, 2953.23, 2953.71, 2953.72, 2953.73, 2953.74, 2953.78, 2953.80, and 2953.82 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. (A) The General Assembly hereby declares that its purpose in amending section 2901.07 of the Revised Code in Sections 1 and 2 of this act is to reaffirm that it is the General Assembly's intent that, under that section as it existed prior to the effective date of this act, a person who is in any of the categories of offenders described in division (B)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of that section in relation to a conviction of or plea of guilty to a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of that section is subject to the DNA specimen collection provisions of divisions (B) and (C) of that section regardless of when the conviction of or plea of guilty to the felony offense or the misdemeanor offense occurs or is entered.

(B) The General Assembly declares that it believes that the amendments to section 2901.07 of the Revised Code made in Sections 1 and 2 of this act are not substantive in nature and merely clarify that divisions (B)(1), (2), (3), and (4) and (C) of that section operate as described in division (A) of this Section, and that the amendments to section 2901.07 of the Revised Code made in Sections 1 and 2 of this act thus are remedial in nature. The General Assembly declares that it intends that the clarifying, remedial amendments to section 2901.07 of the Revised Code made in Sections 1 and 2 of this act apply to all convicted offenders described in division (A) of this Section, regardless of when they were convicted of or pleaded guilty to the felony or the specified misdemeanor or are convicted of or plead guilty to the felony or the specified misdemeanor.

(C) In compliance with the Ohio Supreme Court decision in Van Fossen v. Babcock & Wilcox Co. (1988), 36 Ohio St.3d 100, and with section 1.48 of the Revised Code, the General Assembly expressly states its intent that the amendments to section 2901.07 of the Revised Code made in Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall apply retrospectively.

SECTION 4. This act is hereby declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. The reason for such necessity is that the amendments made in Sections 1 and 2 of this act to section 2901.07 of the Revised Code are crucially needed to protect the residents of this state from the consequences that might result if crimes go unsolved because the DNA specimen collection provisions of that section are not applied to all persons who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense listed in division (D) of that section and are in any of the categories of offenders described in division (B)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of that section. Therefore, this act shall go into immediate effect.

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