The Statute for DNA Examination after Criminal Cases Have Become Final was enacted where a defendant in a final case may motion for re-examination of DNAs(Taiwan)

Angela Wu

The President promulgated the Statute for DNA Examination after Criminal Cases Have Become Final (hereinafter, the “Statute”), which consists of 10 articles, via the President-Hua-Zhong-One-Yi-10500140081 Directive of November 16, 2016. The Statute came into effect on the day of its promulgation. The Statute is highlighted below:

1. Specific stipulation of a defendant’s right to motion for re-examination of DNA after his or her criminal case has become final
Under Articles 2 and 4 of the Statute, if it is reasonably believed that re-examination of DNAs of relevant evidence or specimens of the case may serve as new facts or evidence for retrial when the following conditions are satisfied, a motion may be filed to conduct DNA examination of the evidence or specimens again: (1) the evidence or specimens motioned for examination are placed under the custody of a government agency; (2) the evidence or specimens motioned for examination have not been subject to DNA examination or have been subject to DNA examination but a new examination method is available now; or (3) the method by which examination is motioned is scientifically reasonable.
Such motion may be filed by the sentenced individual or his or her legal representative or spouse. If the sentenced individual is deceased, his or her spouse, direct blood relatives, indirect blood relatives within the third degree of consanguinity, in-laws within the second degree of consanguinity, or parents or family members may file such motion.

2. Procedure for Relevant Motions for DNA Re-examination and Comparisons
Under Article 3 of the Statute, a motion shall be filed with the original trial court that renders the original decision. Article 6 provides that if necessary, the court may conduct certain investigation to ascertain if the criteria for DNA re-examination are met and notify the mover or defenders to appear in court to state their case. Article 8 specifically provides that if the results of examination are favorable to the mover, the court shall order the examination institution to deliver the examination results to the competent authority for DNA databases for comparison.

3. Proper preservation of evidence and specimens
Article 9 of the Statute specifically provides that an investigation agency shall properly collect, maintain and transfer evidence and specimens to ensure the accuracy of evidence and specimens.