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H.B. 377





Chief Sponsor: Douglas C. Aagard

Senate Sponsor: Gregory S. Bell

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill clarifies which provisions of Rule 65C of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure
             10      apply to a petition for a determination of factual innocence.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    provides that, except for the notice and answer provisions, Rule 65C of the Utah
             14      Rules of Civil Procedure apply to petitions to determine factual innocence.
             15      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             16          None
             17      Other Special Clauses:
             18          None
             19      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             20      AMENDS:
             21          78B-9-402, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 358
             23      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          Section 1. Section 78B-9-402 is amended to read:
             25           78B-9-402. Petition for determination of factual innocence -- Sufficient
             26      allegations -- Notification of victim.
             27          As used in this part:

             28          (1) "Factually innocent" means a person did not:
             29          (a) engage in the conduct for which the person was convicted;
             30          (b) engage in conduct relating to any lesser included offenses; or
             31          (c) commit any other felony arising out of or reasonably connected to the facts
             32      supporting the indictment or information upon which the person was convicted.
             33          (2) (a) A person who has been convicted of a felony offense may petition the district
             34      court in the county in which the person was convicted for a hearing to establish that the person
             35      is factually innocent of the crime or crimes of which the person was convicted, if the person
             36      asserts factual innocence under oath and the petition alleges:
             37          (i) newly discovered material evidence exists that establishes that the petitioner is
             38      factually innocent;
             39          (ii) the petitioner identifies the specific evidence the petitioner claims establishes
             40      innocence;
             41          (iii) the material evidence is not merely cumulative of evidence that was known;
             42          (iv) the material evidence is not merely impeachment evidence;
             43          (v) viewed with all the other evidence, the newly discovered evidence demonstrates
             44      that the petitioner is factually innocent; and
             45          (vi) (A) neither the petitioner nor petitioner's counsel knew of the evidence at the time
             46      of trial or sentencing or in time to include the evidence in any previously filed post-trial motion
             47      or postconviction motion, and the evidence could not have been discovered by the petitioner or
             48      the petitioner's counsel through the exercise of reasonable diligence;
             49          (B) a court has found ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to exercise reasonable
             50      diligence in uncovering the evidence; or
             51          (C) the court waives the requirements of Subsection (2)(a)(vi)(A) or (2)(a)(vi)(B) in the
             52      interest of justice.
             53          (b) A person who has already obtained postconviction relief that vacated or reversed
             54      the person's conviction may also file a petition under this part if no retrial or appeal regarding
             55      this offense is pending.
             56          (3) If some or all of the evidence alleged to be exonerating is biological evidence
             57      subject to DNA testing, the petitioner shall seek DNA testing pursuant to Section 78B-9-301 .
             58          (4) [The] Except as provided in Subsection (6), the petition shall be in compliance with

             59      and governed by Rule 65C, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, and shall include the underlying
             60      criminal case number.
             61          (5) After a petition is filed under this section, prosecutors, law enforcement officers,
             62      and crime laboratory personnel shall cooperate in preserving evidence and in determining the
             63      sufficiency of the chain of custody of the evidence which is the subject of the petition.
             64          (6) (a) [A] Notwithstanding paragraphs (g) and (h) of Rule 65C, Utah Rules of Civil
             65      Procedure, a person who files a petition under this section shall serve notice of the petition and
             66      a copy of the petition upon the office of the prosecutor who obtained the conviction and upon
             67      the Utah attorney general. The attorney general shall, within 30 days after receipt of service of
             68      the notice, or within any additional period of time the court allows, answer or otherwise
             69      respond to all proceedings initiated under this part.
             70          (b) (i) After the time for response by the attorney general under Subsection (6)(a) has
             71      passed, the court shall order a hearing if it finds there is a bona fide issue as to whether the
             72      petitioner is factually innocent of the charges of which the petitioner was convicted.
             73          (ii) If the parties stipulate that the evidence establishes that the petitioner is factually
             74      innocent, the court may find the petitioner is factually innocent without holding a hearing.
             75          (7) The court may not grant a petition for a hearing under this part during the period in
             76      which criminal proceedings in the matter are pending before any trial or appellate court, unless
             77      stipulated to by the parties.
             78          (8) Any victim of a crime that is the subject of a petition under this part, and who has
             79      elected to receive notice under Section 77-38-3 , shall be notified by the state's attorney of any
             80      hearing regarding the petition.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 3-2-09 9:00 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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