State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT concerning forensic science.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  Title.   This Act may be cited as the
 5    Illinois Independent Forensic Science Act.

 6        Section 5. Purpose of Act. The purpose of this Act is  to
 7    establish   an   independent   forensic   science   oversight
 8    commission  responsible  for  overseeing  the  performance of
 9    forensic science laboratories in the State  of  Illinois  and
10    maintaining  the independence of these laboratories from both
11    the prosecution and the defense.

12        Section 10. Definitions. For the  purposes  of  this  Act
13    unless the context clearly denotes otherwise:
14        "Blind  external proficiency testing" means a test sample
15    that is  presented  to  a  forensic  science  laboratory  for
16    forensic  testing and that appears to the analysts to involve
17    routine evidence submitted for forensic testing.
18        "Commission" means the commission for  oversight  of  the
19    forensic  science  laboratories  in  the  State  of  Illinois
20    established by Section 15 of this Act.
21        "Forensic   science   laboratory"  means  any  laboratory
22    operated by the State or any unit of local government for the
23    purpose  of  performing  forensic  testing,   including   the
24    forensic  testing  of  DNA,  the  crime  scene,  or materials
25    derived from the  human  body,  for  use  as  evidence  in  a
26    criminal proceeding or for purposes of identification.

27        Section  15.  The  Illinois  Independent Forensic Science
28    Oversight  Commission.   There   is   created   an   Illinois
29    Independent Forensic Science Oversight Commission, consisting
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 1    of 9 members, all of whom shall be appointed by the Governor.
 2    Those appointed shall include:
 3        (a)  2  scientists  having  experience  in  the  areas of
 4    laboratory standards  or  quality  assurance  regulation  and
 5    monitoring;
 6        (b)  2 Public Defenders:
 7        (c)  the   Illinois   Attorney  General  or  his  or  her
 8    designee;
 9        (d)  one member of the private criminal defense bar;
10        (f)  one chief or superintendent  of  a  law  enforcement
11    agency; and
12        (g)  one member of the public.
13        The Governor from time to time shall designate a Chair of
14    the  Commission  from  the  membership.  All  members  of the
15    Commission shall serve for a term of 4 years.
16        The Commission shall meet at  least  quarterly,  and  all
17    meetings of the Commission shall be called by the Chairman.

18        Section  20.  No  compensation;  expenses. Members of the
19    Commission shall  serve  without  compensation.  All  members
20    shall  be  reimbursed  for  reasonable  expenses  incurred in
21    connection with their duties.

22        Section  25.  Executive  Director.  The  Governor   shall
23    appoint  an  Executive  Director  of  the Commission with the
24    advice and consent of  the  Senate.  The  Executive  Director
25    shall  employ,  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of the
26    Illinois  Personnel   Code,   administrative,   professional,
27    clerical,  and  other personnel as may be required to perform
28    the duties of the  Commission.  The  Executive  Director  may
29    organize  the  staff  of the Commission as he or she may deem
30    appropriate.

31        Section  30.  Duties.  The  Commission  shall  have   the
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 1    following duties and responsibilities:
 2        (a)  The  Commission shall oversee and shall regulate the
 3    activities of all forensic science  laboratories  within  the
 4    State  of  Illinois. The Commission shall adopt accreditation
 5    standards for all forensic science  laboratories  within  the
 6    State.  In designing accreditation standards pursuant to this
 7    Section, the  Commission  shall  evaluate  other  systems  or
 8    standards of accreditation.
 9        (b)  The   Commission   shall   establish   qualification
10    standards   for   all  examiners,  analysts,  and  scientists
11    employed by any forensic science laboratory within the  State
12    of  Illinois  and  shall  adopt a code of ethics to which all
13    examiners, analysts, and  scientists  shall  be  required  to
14    adhere.  The  qualifications  and the code of ethics shall be
15    designed to (1)  increase  and  maintain  the  effectiveness,
16    efficiency,  reliability,  and  accuracy  of forensic science
17    laboratories; (2) ensure that forensic analyses are performed
18    in  accordance  with   the   highest   scientific   standards
19    practicable;  and  (3)  ensure  full  disclosure  to both the
20    prosecution and the  defense  of  all  laboratory  notes  and
21    results whenever any analysis of evidence is performed.
22        (c)  The  Commission  shall  establish  protocols for the
23    examination of evidence. The protocols shall require that, to
24    the fullest extent practicable, the examination  of  evidence
25    shall  be  conducted  on  a blind basis so that the examiner,
26    analyst, or scientist is unaware of whether the  request  for
27    examination  originated  with  the defense or the prosecution
28    and is unaware of which side would be helped by a  particular
29    finding.
30        (d)  The  Commission  shall conduct an initial laboratory
31    inspection  and  routine  inspections  as  necessary  of  all
32    forensic science laboratories within the State to ensure that
33    these  laboratories  are  in  compliance  with  accreditation
34    standards.
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 1        (e)  The Commission shall conduct  routine  internal  and
 2    external  proficiency  testing  of  all personnel involved in
 3    forensic  analysis,  including  blind  external   proficiency
 4    testing.
 5        (f)  The  Commission  shall  require  that  all  forensic
 6    science  laboratories,  that    it  has  accredited annually,
 7    certify to the Commission their continued compliance with the
 8    requirements for accreditation.
 9        (g)  As part of the accreditation process, the Commission
10    shall require all forensic science laboratories to adhere  to
11    quality  control  and  quality  assurance  protocols  and  to
12    maintain  a  method  validation  procedure  and  a corrective
13    action and remedial program.
14        (h)  The Commission shall revoke the accreditation of any
15    forensic science laboratory upon  a  determination  that  the
16    laboratory or one or more persons in its employ:
17             (1)  is  guilty  of misrepresentation in obtaining a
18        forensic science laboratory accreditation;
19             (2)  rendered a report on laboratory  work  actually
20        performed  in another forensic science laboratory without
21        disclosing that fact;
22             (3)  showed a pattern of  excessive  errors  in  the
23        performance    of    forensic    laboratory   examination
24        procedures; or
25             (4)  failed  to  file  any  report  required  to  be
26        submitted pursuant to this Act.

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