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A09861 Summary:

COSPNSRDe La Rosa, Mosley, Seawright
Add Art 13-B §§268 - 268-d, Exec L
Establishes the conviction review commission to review and reinvestigate cases involving wrongful convictions and to research developments in forensic science which may affect the outcome of criminal cases.
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A09861 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 20, 2020
        Introduced  by M. of A. QUART -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Codes
        AN ACT  to  amend  the  executive  law,  in  relation  to  creating  the
          conviction  review  commission  and  providing  for  such commission's
          powers and duties
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  The executive law is amended by adding a new article 13-B
     2  to read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 13-B
     4                        CONVICTION REVIEW COMMISSION
     5  Section 268.   Definition.
     6          268-a. Conviction review commission.
     7          268-b. Purpose and conduct of the commission.
     8          268-c. Powers and duties.
     9          268-d. Use of information.
    10    § 268. Definition. As used in this article,  "commission"  shall  mean
    11  the  conviction  review  commission  established pursuant to section two
    12  hundred sixty-eight-a of this article.
    13    § 268-a.  Conviction  review  commission.  1.  The  conviction  review
    14  commission is hereby established as an independent agency of the state.
    15    a. The commission shall consist of five members as follows:
    16    (i) three members appointed by the governor;
    17    (ii)  one  member  appointed by the temporary president of the senate;
    18  and
    19    (iii) one member appointed by the speaker of the assembly.
    20    b. The five members of the commission shall  include  community  advo-
    21  cates  and defense attorneys who are widely known for their professional
    22  competence and experience with criminal defense,  wrongful  convictions,
    23  or  developments  in  the field of forensic science, and at least one of
    24  whom is a defense attorney  in  good  standing  with  experience  filing
    25  motions pursuant to article four hundred forty of the criminal procedure
    26  law.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9861                             2
     1    2.  The  term of office of each of the members of the commission shall
     2  be five years.  Every vacancy occurring prior to  the  expiration  of  a
     3  member's  term  shall  be  filled  for the remainder of such term in the
     4  manner provided for the original appointment to such  term.    Upon  the
     5  expiration  of the term of a member of the commission, such member shall
     6  continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed.
     7    3. The governor shall designate a chairperson from the members of  the
     8  commission, to serve as such at the pleasure of the governor. The chair-
     9  person shall be the chief executive officer of the commission.
    10    4.  The  chairperson  shall receive compensation fixed by the governor
    11  and shall be  reimbursed  for  all  expenses  actually  and  necessarily
    12  incurred  by  him  or  her in the performance of his or her duties here-
    13  under, within the amount made available by appropriation  therefor.  The
    14  other  members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their
    15  services, but shall be reimbursed for all expenses actually  and  neces-
    16  sarily  incurred in the performance of their duties hereunder within the
    17  amount made available by appropriation therefor.
    18    5. The commission shall meet at least four times each year  at  prede-
    19  termined  times  and  locations  announced in advance, and at such other
    20  times as the chair of the commission or  three  or  more  members  shall
    21  determine to be necessary.
    22    6.  For  any  action  authorized by this article, three members of the
    23  commission shall constitute a quorum and, except as  otherwise  provided
    24  in  subdivision  five of this section, the concurrence of at least three
    25  members of the commission shall be necessary.
    26    7. No member of the commission shall be disqualified from holding  any
    27  public office or employment, nor shall he or she forfeit any such office
    28  or  employment,  by  reason  of  his or her appointment pursuant to this
    29  section, and the members of the commission shall be required to take and
    30  file oaths of office before serving on the commission.
    31    § 268-b. Purpose and conduct of  the  commission.  1.  The  commission
    32  shall  review cases involving a wrongful conviction and shall be author-
    33  ized to reinvestigate such  cases,  research  developments  in  forensic
    34  science,  recommend  cases  and categories of cases for reinvestigation,
    35  and recommend reforms to  lessen  the  likelihood  of  similar  wrongful
    36  convictions occurring in the future.
    37    2. The commission shall establish a conviction review unit which shall
    38  consist of the following departments:
    39    a. the investigation department, which shall be responsible for inves-
    40  tigating all matters brought to the commission's attention by the formal
    41  filing or application process set forth by the commission; and
    42    b.  the research department, which shall be responsible for collecting
    43  data pertaining to the work of the conviction  review  unit,  monitoring
    44  the  most recent research, including forensic research, and recommending
    45  cases or categories of cases for reinvestigation based upon the  results
    46  of such research.
    47    §  268-c.  Powers and duties. The commission shall have the powers and
    48  duties to:
    49    1. establish its own reasonable rules and  procedures  concerning  the
    50  conduct  of  its  meetings and other affairs related to implementing the
    51  provisions of this article;
    52    2. employ and remove such officers, investigators and employees as  it
    53  may deem necessary for the performance of its powers and duties pursuant
    54  to  this  article,  and  fix  their compensation within the amounts made
    55  available by appropriation therefor;

        A. 9861                             3
     1    3. conduct investigations and hearings, administer oaths  or  affirma-
     2  tions,  subpoena  witnesses, compel their attendance, examine them under
     3  oath or affirmation, require production of any books, records, documents
     4  or other evidence that it may deem relevant or material to  an  investi-
     5  gation,  and may designate any of its members, officers or investigators
     6  to exercise any such powers; provided, however, the commission shall not
     7  be permitted to compel any trial judge, trial  court  or  any  appellate
     8  court  to provide information or records pertaining to the court's adju-
     9  dicative process in rendering its decision in any case;
    10    4. request and receive from any court,  department,  division,  board,
    11  bureau,  commission or other agency of the state or any political subdi-
    12  vision thereof or any public  authority  such  assistance,  information,
    13  records and data as will enable the commission to properly carry out its
    14  powers and duties;
    15    5.  issue  preliminary reports on any investigation conducted pursuant
    16  to this article, which preliminary reports  shall  include  findings  of
    17  fact and recommendations;
    18    6.  accept  requests  for  proposals from organizations that represent
    19  petitioners in proceedings after judgment pursuant to title  M  of  part
    20  two  of  the  criminal  procedure law and enter into contracts with such
    21  organizations authorizing the organizations to represent such  petition-
    22  ers;
    23    7.  research  and  monitor  developments in forensic science and other
    24  fields which may affect the outcome of criminal cases; and
    25    8. perform all activities necessary to carry  out  the  provisions  of
    26  this article.
    27    §  268-d.  Use  of  information.  1.  No preliminary report, report or
    28  portion thereof issued pursuant to this article shall be  admitted  into
    29  evidence  or used in any civil or criminal cause of action relating to a
    30  matter which is the subject of such report.
    31    2. The commission's election not to reinvestigate a case  or  initiate
    32  an  action  on  behalf  of the petitioner shall not be deemed a determi-
    33  nation by the commission and shall not be subject to freedom of informa-
    34  tion laws pursuant to article six of the public officers law.
    35    3.  The determination by the commission not to reinvestigate a case or
    36  initiate an action on behalf of a  petitioner  shall  not  be  deemed  a
    37  determination  and shall not be discoverable or admissible in any subse-
    38  quent action, administrative hearing  or  hearing  administered  by  the
    39  department of corrections and community supervision.
    40    4. Orders and decisions of the commission shall not be appealable.
    41    5.  The commission shall not be required to disclose to petitioner any
    42  records, data, video or audio tape, or any other information received by
    43  subpoena  or  other  means from a district attorney's office or from any
    44  court, department, division, board, bureau, commission or  other  agency
    45  of the state or any political subdivision thereof or any public authori-
    46  ty  pursuant to subdivision four of section two hundred sixty-eight-c of
    47  this article.
    48    § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    49  have become a law, provided that the officials who are empowered by this
    50  act  to  appoint members of the conviction review commission are author-
    51  ized and directed to make such appointments on or before such  effective
    52  date pursuant to section 268-a of the executive law, as added by section
    53  one of this act.
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