Terms Used In Louisiana Revised Statutes 15:621

  • Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.

A.  Prior to December 31, 2012, no criminal justice agency or clerk of court shall destroy any biological evidence in its possession in relation to the investigation, prosecution, or adjudication of any of the following enumerated offenses or attempts to commit any of these offenses:  homicide (R.S. 14:29), rape (R.S. 14:41), and armed robbery (R.S. 14:64).

B.  The provisions of this Section shall apply only in cases in which an offender has been convicted at trial or has entered a guilty plea pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970), and the offender is in the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

C.  Nothing in this Section should preclude any criminal justice agency or clerk of court from removing parts containing biological evidence from large items of evidence and retaining only the parts containing biological evidence.

D.  Failure by any criminal justice agency or clerk of court to comply with the provisions of this Section shall be governed by Code of Criminal Procedure Article 926.1(H)(6).

E.  As used in this Section:

(1)  “Biological evidence” means the contents of a sexual assault examination kit or any item that contains blood, semen, hair, saliva, skin tissue, fingerprints, or other identifiable human biological material that may reasonably be used to incriminate or exculpate any person in the criminal investigation, whether that material is catalogued separately on a slide or swab, in a test tube, or some other similar method, or is present on clothing, ligatures, bedding, other household materials, drinking cups, cigarettes, or any other item of evidence, including those that are alleged to have been touched or worn by the perpetrator of the offense.  Work product generated during DNA analysis shall not be considered biological evidence with the exception of the extracted DNA when the original biological evidence is consumed during analysis.  In this event, the extracted DNA shall be retained.

(2)  “Criminal justice agency”  means any criminal justice agency as defined in R.S. 15:576(3).

Acts 2011, No. 250, §1, eff. July 1, 2011.