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  H.B. No. 681
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to postconviction forensic testing.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 3, Article 11.07, Code of Criminal
  Procedure, is amended by amending Subsection (d) and adding
  Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (d)  If the convicting court decides that there are
  controverted, previously unresolved facts which are material to the
  legality of the applicant's confinement, it shall enter an order
  within 20 days of the expiration of the time allowed for the state
  to reply, designating the issues of fact to be resolved. To resolve
  those issues the court may order affidavits, depositions,
  interrogatories, additional forensic testing, and hearings, as
  well as using personal recollection. The state shall pay the cost of
  additional forensic testing ordered under this subsection, except
  that the applicant shall pay the cost of the testing if the
  applicant retains counsel for purposes of filing an application
  under this article.  The [Also, the] convicting court may appoint an
  attorney or a magistrate to hold a hearing and make findings of
  fact. An attorney so appointed shall be compensated as provided in
  Article 26.05 of this code. It shall be the duty of the reporter who
  is designated to transcribe a hearing held pursuant to this article
  to prepare a transcript within 15 days of its conclusion. After the
  convicting court makes findings of fact or approves the findings of
  the person designated to make them, the clerk of the convicting
  court shall immediately transmit to the Court of Criminal Appeals,
  under one cover, the application, any answers filed, any motions
  filed, transcripts of all depositions and hearings, any affidavits,
  and any other matters such as official records used by the court in
  resolving issues of fact.
         (e)  For the purposes of Subsection (d), "additional
  forensic testing" does not include forensic DNA testing as provided
  for in Chapter 64.
         SECTION 2.  Article 64.01(c), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  A convicted person is entitled to counsel during a
  proceeding under this chapter. The convicting court shall appoint
  counsel for the convicted person if the person informs the court
  that the person wishes to submit a motion under this chapter, the
  court finds reasonable grounds for a motion to be filed, and the
  court determines that the person is indigent. Counsel must be
  appointed under this subsection not later than the 45th day after
  the date the court finds reasonable grounds or the date the court
  determines that the person is indigent, whichever is later.
  Compensation of counsel is provided in the same manner as is
  required by:
               (1)  Article 11.071 for the representation of a
  petitioner convicted of a capital felony; and
               (2)  Chapter 26 for the representation in a habeas
  corpus hearing of an indigent defendant convicted of a felony other
  than a capital felony.
         SECTION 3.  Article 64.02, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 64.02.  NOTICE TO STATE; RESPONSE. (a)  On receipt of
  the motion, the convicting court shall:
               (1)  provide the attorney representing the state with a
  copy of the motion; and
               (2)  require the attorney representing the state to
  take one of the following actions in response to the motion not
  later than the 60th day after the date the motion is served on the
  attorney representing the state:
                     (A)  deliver the evidence to the court, along with
  a description of the condition of the evidence; or
                     (B)  explain in writing to the court why the state
  cannot deliver the evidence to the court.
         (b)  The convicting court may proceed under Article 64.03
  after the response period described by Subsection (a)(2) has
  expired, regardless of whether the attorney representing the state
  submitted a response under that subsection.
         SECTION 4.  Articles 64.03(b), (c), and (d), Code of
  Criminal Procedure, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A convicted person who pleaded guilty or nolo contendere
  or, whether before or after conviction, made a confession or
  similar admission in the case may submit a motion under this
  chapter, and the convicting court is prohibited from finding that
  identity was not an issue in the case solely on the basis of that
  plea, confession, or admission, as applicable.
         (c)  If the convicting court finds in the affirmative the
  issues listed in Subsection (a)(1) and the convicted person meets
  the requirements of Subsection (a)(2), the court shall order that
  the requested forensic DNA testing be conducted. The court may
  order the test to be conducted by:
               (1)  the Department of Public Safety;
               (2)  [, by] a laboratory operating under a contract
  with the department;[,] or
               (3)  [,] on the request of the convicted person
  [agreement of the parties], [by] another laboratory if that
  laboratory is accredited under Section 411.0205, Government Code.
         (d)  If the convicting court orders that the forensic DNA
  testing be conducted by a laboratory other than a Department of
  Public Safety laboratory or a laboratory under contract with the
  department, the State of Texas is not liable for the cost of testing
  under this subsection unless good cause for payment of that cost has
  been shown. A political subdivision of the state is not liable for
  the cost of testing under this subsection, regardless of whether
  good cause for payment of that cost has been shown.  If the court
  orders that the testing be conducted by a laboratory described by
  this subsection, the court shall include in the order requirements
  that:
               (1)  the DNA testing be conducted in a timely and
  efficient manner under reasonable conditions designed to protect
  the integrity of the evidence and the testing process;
               (2)  the DNA testing employ a scientific method
  sufficiently reliable and relevant to be admissible under Rule 702,
  Texas Rules of Evidence; and
               (3)  on completion of the DNA testing, the results of
  the testing and all data related to the testing required for an
  evaluation of the test results be immediately filed with the court
  and copies of the results and data be served on the convicted person
  and the attorney representing the state.
         SECTION 5.  (a) Section 3(d), Article 11.07, Code of
  Criminal Procedure, as amended by this Act, applies only to an
  application for a writ of habeas corpus filed on or after the
  effective date of this Act.  An application filed before the
  effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the
  application was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         (b)  Chapter 64, Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to a motion for forensic DNA testing filed on
  or after the effective date of this Act. A motion filed before the
  effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the
  motion was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 681 was passed by the House on April
  18, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 681 on May 24, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0, 2
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 681 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor