Washington state legislatures will consider two measures designed to preserve DNA evidence in felony cases. Senate Bill 6310 and House Bill 2468 sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille and Rep. Tina Orwall, would establish an 18 month moratorium on destroying DNA evidence in felony investigations. The bills would also create a work group made up of members of the legislature, judges, law enforcement officials, attorneys and individuals representing the innocence network, to make recommendations for establishing standard for DNA preservation in Washington.
The Innocence Project Northwest at the University of Washington’s Law School, brought the issue to Darneille and Orwall after reviewing 70 cases in Washington and finding the evidence had been destroyed in many of them. Washington is one of only eight states that doesn’t have a law that automatically preserves DNA evidence. The moratorium, in effect July 1 2014, would enable the Innocence Project Northwest and law enforcement officials to examine DNA in any cases where someone may have been wrongfully convicted.
Read SB 6310 here
Read HB 2468 here