SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the General Laws, as amended by section 9 of chapter 69 of the acts of 2018, is hereby further amended by striking out section 184A and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 184A. (a) There shall be a forensic science oversight board in the executive office of public safety and security. The board shall have oversight authority over all commonwealth facilities engaged in forensic services in criminal investigations, and shall provide enhanced, objective and independent oversight of the handling and analysis of forensic evidence used in criminal matters, including the integrity of such forensic analysis performed in state and municipal laboratories.
The board shall consist of: the undersecretary for forensic sciences or a designee, who shall serve as chair and shall be a non-voting member except in cases where an additional vote is required to break a tie vote; and 14 additional members who shall be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a forensic scientist with practical experience in an accredited crime laboratory, 1 of whom shall have senior level expertise in forensic laboratory management within an accredited crime laboratory, 1 of whom shall have expertise in cognitive bias, 1 of whom shall have expertise in statistics, 1 of whom shall be in academia in a research field involving forensic science, 1 of whom shall be an expert in forensic pathology, 1 of whom shall be a forensic scientist who shall have a specialty in the natural, physical or biological sciences, 1 of whom shall have expertise in quality assurance management within an accredited crime laboratory, 1 of whom shall be nominated by the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, 1 of whom shall be nominated by the attorney general, 1 of whom shall be nominated by the committee for public counsel services, 1 of whom shall be nominated by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., 1 of whom shall be nominated by the New England Innocence Project, Inc., and 1 of whom shall be nominated by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
A member, other than the undersecretary for forensic sciences or a designee and those members nominated by the attorney general, the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, the committee for public counsel services, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., New England Innocence Project, Inc., or Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association shall not be employed by or affiliated with a commonwealth or municipal forensic laboratory throughout the term of membership. A members shall not be engaged in providing testimony in the area of forensic science in criminal or civil cases within the commonwealth. Members who are not state employees shall be considered special state employees for purposes of chapter 268A.
(b) All appointments to the board shall be for a term of 4 years, with the members initially appointed serving staggered terms. A vacancy, other than by expiration of term, shall be filled by the governor for the unexpired term. Staff for the board shall be provided by the executive office of public safety and security. The board shall meet at times and places as is requested by 7 of its members and shall not meet less than quarterly. Members shall not designate a proxy to vote in their absence. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(c) Not more than 6 months following the appointment of its membership, the board shall conduct a comprehensive review of the operation and management of all publicly operated facilities in the commonwealth engaged in forensic services in criminal investigations. Such review shall include, but not be limited to, evaluating: (i) the capabilities of each such facility engaged in forensic services and such facility’s ability to process evidence necessary to comply with the General Laws; (ii) the condition and accuracy of testing equipment; (iii) the handling, processing, testing and storage of evidence by such facilities; (iv) the professional qualifications and standards necessary to serve as the head of the facility; (v) the qualifications and management of laboratory personnel, and (vi) the proper entity to control the state police crime laboratory and whether it would be appropriate to transfer such control to another executive agency or to an independent executive director. The results of such review, together with any recommendations for regulatory or legislative actions, shall be reported to the clerks of the house and senate, the secretary of public safety and security, the joint committee on the judiciary, the joint committee on public safety and homeland security, the house and senate committee on ways and means, the colonel of the state police and the chief of police for any municipality operating such a facility.
(d) The board shall upon vote by 7 of its members initiate an investigation into any forensic science, technique or analysis used in a criminal matter upon: (i) application by a person alleging that a forensic technique in common use is not scientifically valid; or (ii) a determination that an investigation of a forensic analysis would advance the integrity and reliability of forensic science in the commonwealth.
The board shall report the results of an investigation by the board, with any resulting recommendations, to the executive office of public safety and security, the joint committee on public safety and homeland security, the joint committee on the judiciary, the supreme judicial court, the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, the attorney general, the committee for public counsel services, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc. and the New England Innocence Project, Inc.
(e) The board shall develop, implement and periodically review a system for forensic laboratories to report professional negligence or misconduct and any such facility shall be required to report to the board any instance of professional negligence and misconduct.
(f) The board shall actively engage stakeholders in the criminal justice system in forensic development initiatives and shall recommend ways to improve education and training in forensic science and the law, and identify measures to improve the quality of forensic analysis performed in laboratories.
(g) The board shall develop, implement and periodically review a system to evaluate laboratory accreditation, including securing and maintaining such accreditation for non-accredited laboratories, and shall ensure that every facility is actively accredited and in compliance with standards promulgated by the International Organization of Standardization.
(h) The board shall review any budget request of the undersecretary for forensic sciences, including any recommendations for the allocation of resources and expansion of services, and may provide its own recommendations to the secretary of the executive office of public safety and security.
(i) The board shall review protocols to ensure proper chain of custody of evidence.
(j) The board shall receive and review quarterly reports from the undersecretary for forensic sciences that shall include such information as the board requests, and which shall, at a minimum, include: (1) the volume of forensic services of each facility as well as the volume for each employee within such facility; (2) the volume of forensic services requests for each county; (3) the length of time from submission for testing and the return of results from such facilities; and (4) the accreditation status of each facility; and (5) any facility employee records, qualifications, or incident reports that could affect the integrity or results of forensic analysis performed at each facility.
At the direction of the board, the undersecretary for forensic sciences shall advise the board on issues as the board shall request. The undersecretary shall make recommendations for the allocation of resources and expansion of services, and on an annual basis, submit budget recommendations to the secretary of the executive office of public safety and security and the board.
SECTION 2. Section 32H½ of chapter 94C of the General Laws, as inserted by chapter 72 of the acts of 2018, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (a) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
(a) As used in this section, the words “ineligible offender” shall have the following meaning: any person sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment in the state prison upon conviction for: (1) violating sections 32, 32F or 32K, or subsections (c), (c½) or (c¾) of section 32E; (2) violating this chapter, upon a finding of any 1 of the following aggravating circumstances: (i) the person used violence or threats of violence or possessed a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or a weapon described in paragraph (b) of section 10 of chapter 269, or induced another participant to do so, during the commission of the offense; (ii) the person engaged in a course of conduct whereby he directed the activities of another who committed any felony in violation of chapter 94C; or (iii) the offense was committed during the commission or attempted commission of a violation of section 32F or section 32K of chapter 94C.
SECTION 3. Section 52 of chapter 119 of the General Laws, as amended by section 72 of chapter 69 of the acts of 2018, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of “Delinquent child” and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-
“Delinquent child”, a child between 12 and 18 years of age who commits any offense against a law of the commonwealth; provided, however, that a child shall not be adjudged a delinquent child for an offense that is a civil infraction, a violation of any municipal ordinance or town by-law or a first offense of a misdemeanor for which the punishment is a fine, imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 6 months or both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 4. Section 87 of said chapter 119, as inserted by section 80 of said chapter 69, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (a) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
(a) The department of youth services and the department of correction shall not place in a secure detention facility or secure correctional facility any juvenile who has: (1) been charged with or who has committed an offense that would not be criminal if committed by an adult, except juveniles who are held in accordance with the interstate compact on juveniles, as enacted by the commonwealth; (2) not been alleged or adjudicated to be a delinquent child or youthful offender; or (3) been alleged to be dependent on the court, neglected or abused if that allegation is the sole basis for the placement.
SECTION 5. Section 39 of said chapter 127, as inserted by section 93 of said chapter 69, is hereby amended in subsection (b) by inserting after the words "access to a radio or television if confinement exceeds 30 days" the words "provided, however, that such access may be diminished for the enforcement of discipline for a period not to exceed 15 days in a state correctional facility or 10 days in a county correctional facility for any given offense or where inconsistent with the security of the unit".
SECTION 6. Section 39F of said chapter 127, as so inserted, is hereby amended in the second paragraph by inserting after the words "and other re-entry planning services" the words "as are".
SECTION 7. Section 119A of said chapter 127, as inserted by section 97 of chapter 69 of the acts of 2018, is hereby amended by adding the following subsection:-
(j) Physicians, employers of physicians, and public employees shall not be liable in a civil proceeding for any act or omission pursuant to the provisions of this section if acting in good faith.
SECTION 8. Section 20 of chapter 233 of the General Laws, as amended by section 111 of said chapter 69, is hereby further amended by striking the words " legal guardian or other person who has the right to act in loco parentis for the child; " and replacing them with the words " or legal guardian;".
SECTION 9. Chapter 276 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out sections 100P and 100Q, as inserted by section 195 of said chapter 69, and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sections:-
Section 100P. The court shall, upon a written finding of good cause, exclude the general public from any judicial proceeding where the court will be hearing a petition for an expungement admitting only such persons as may have a direct interest in the case.
Section 100Q. Unless otherwise provided by law, no person shall make records sealed pursuant to section 100A, or 100B available for inspection in any form by any person. No person shall make records expunged pursuant to section 100F, section 100G, section 100H or section 100K available for inspection in any form by any person.
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