Florida Senate - 2024                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 350
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  01/30/2024           .                                

       The Committee on Criminal Justice (Osgood) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Decker-Backmann
    6  Act.”
    7         Section 2. Section 782.41, Florida Statutes, is created to
    8  read:
    9         782.41Cold case murder; review; reinvestigation.—
   10         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   11         (a)“Cold case” means a murder, for which:
   12         1.No likely perpetrator has been identified; and
   13         2.At least 5 years have passed since it was committed,
   14  including the date of an application requesting a review
   15  submitted by a designated person, and the murder was previously
   16  investigated by a law enforcement agency and all probative leads
   17  have been exhausted.
   18         (b)“Designated person” means an immediate family member or
   19  an immediate family member’s designated legal representative,
   20  which representative must be a member in good standing of The
   21  Florida Bar.
   22         (c)“Immediate family member” means a parent, parent-in
   23  law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, sibling, spouse, child, or
   24  stepchild of a victim, or any person who exercised in loco
   25  parentis control over such victim younger than 18 years of age
   26  at the time of the murder.
   27         (d)“Law enforcement agency” means the law enforcement
   28  agency having jurisdiction at the time of the murder.
   29         (e)“Murder” means any criminal offense provided under s.
   30  782.04, s. 782.071, or s. 782.072.
   31         (f)“Probative lead” means evidence that is sufficiently
   32  useful to prove an element of the crime and that was not
   33  identified or determined as part of the previous investigation
   34  by a law enforcement agency.
   35         (g)“Victim” means an individual who was murdered and whose
   36  case has been designated as a cold case.
   37         (2)The head of a law enforcement agency or his or her
   38  designee shall review a cold case upon receiving a written
   39  application from a designated person to determine if a full
   40  reinvestigation would result in any of the following:
   41         (a)The identification of new probative leads.
   42         (b)The identification of a likely perpetrator.
   43         (3)A review conducted pursuant to subsection (2) must
   44  include all of the following:
   45         (a)An analysis of any investigative procedures that may
   46  have been absent or missed in the initial investigation.
   47         (b)An assessment of whether witnesses should be
   48  interviewed or reinterviewed.
   49         (c)An examination of physical evidence to determine
   50  whether all appropriate forensic testing and analyses were
   51  performed in the initial investigation and whether additional
   52  testing might produce information relevant to the investigation.
   53         (d)An update of the case file using the most current
   54  investigative standards as of the date of the review, if such
   55  standards may help develop probative leads.
   56         (4)(a)The law enforcement agency must conduct a full
   57  reinvestigation of the cold case if the review pursuant to
   58  subsection (2) concludes that such reinvestigation may result in
   59  previously unidentified probative leads or in the identification
   60  of a likely perpetrator.
   61         (b)A full reinvestigation must include a review of all
   62  available evidence and an analysis of those items that may
   63  contain forensic value which were collected for the purpose of
   64  developing probative leads or identifying a likely perpetrator.
   65         (5)(a)A full reinvestigation required pursuant to
   66  subsection (4) may not be conducted solely by the person who
   67  previously investigated the murder.
   68         (b)Only one full reinvestigation may be undertaken at any
   69  time with respect to the same victim.
   70         (c)If a full reinvestigation is completed and a likely
   71  perpetrator is not identified as a result, an additional case
   72  file review or full reinvestigation is not required for that
   73  cold case for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the
   74  conclusion of the reinvestigation, unless materially significant
   75  evidence is discovered.
   76         (6)(a)Each law enforcement agency shall develop a written
   77  application to be used by a designated person to request a cold
   78  case review under subsection (2).
   79         (b)No later than July 1, 2025, the head of each law
   80  enforcement agency or his or her designee shall adopt procedures
   81  to ensure compliance with this section.
   82         (c)Each law enforcement agency shall train the appropriate
   83  law enforcement employees and officers of that law enforcement
   84  agency on the procedures required and the responsibilities and
   85  obligations imposed under this section.
   86         (7)The law enforcement agency shall, as soon as
   87  practicable, provide to the designated person who submitted the
   88  application requesting review of a cold case a written
   89  confirmation of receipt of the application. Such confirmation
   90  must include a description of the process for submitting a
   91  complaint to, and contact information for, the law enforcement
   92  agency’s unit responsible for internal investigations involving
   93  allegations of misconduct.
   94         (8)An application for review of a case that does not meet
   95  the criteria for a cold case specified in paragraph (1)(a) may
   96  be denied. If an application is denied, the head of the law
   97  enforcement agency or his or her designee must issue to the
   98  designated person who submitted the application a written
   99  explanation of the reason or reasons for the denial of the
  100  review.
  101         (9)No later than 1 year after receipt of a written
  102  application requesting a cold case review, the law enforcement
  103  agency must complete the case file review and conclude, pursuant
  104  to subsection (2), whether a full reinvestigation as provided in
  105  subsection (4) is warranted.
  106         (10)The law enforcement agency may, one time only, extend
  107  the time limit provided under subsection (9) for a period not to
  108  exceed 6 months if the law enforcement agency finds that the
  109  number of case files to be reviewed makes compliance with the
  110  time limit impracticable without diverting resources from other
  111  law enforcement activities. If the time limit is extended, the
  112  law enforcement agency must provide notice and an explanation of
  113  its reasoning for the extension to the designated person who
  114  submitted the written application for review.
  115         (11)By October 1, 2025, and at least quarterly thereafter,
  116  each law enforcement agency shall report data as described in
  117  subsection (12) to the Global Forensic and Justice Center at
  118  Florida International University.
  119         (12)The Global Forensic and Justice Center shall establish
  120  and maintain a case tracking system and searchable public
  121  website that includes all of the following information about
  122  cold case investigations covered under this section:
  123         (a)The number of written applications for cold case
  124  reviews filed with each law enforcement agency as provided under
  125  subsection (2).
  126         (b)The number of full reinvestigations initiated and
  127  closed under subsection (9).
  128         (c)The total number of cases in which the time for review
  129  was extended and a summary of the reasons for any such
  130  extensions under subsection (10).
  131         (d)Statistical information on the aggregate number of cold
  132  cases, defendants, arrests, indictments, and convictions.
  133         (13)The Global Forensic and Justice Center shall create
  134  and publish on its searchable public website a list of resources
  135  for immediate family members or designated persons who have
  136  submitted an application for a cold case review pursuant to
  137  subsection (2). The resources must, at a minimum, include
  138  system-based and community-based cold case advocacy services.
  139         (14)If more than one law enforcement agency conducted the
  140  initial investigation of a cold case, each law enforcement
  141  agency must coordinate the case file review or full
  142  reinvestigation such that there is only one joint case file
  143  review or full reinvestigation occurring at a time as required
  144  by paragraph (5)(b).
  145         (15)A law enforcement agency may request investigative
  146  assistance from the Department of Law Enforcement to complete a
  147  cold case review or reinvestigation under this section. The
  148  request must be submitted in writing.
  149         (16)The operation of this section is subject to the
  150  availability of funds specifically appropriated by the
  151  Legislature or other relevant political subdivision of this
  152  state for this purpose.
  153         (17)This section applies to any cold case in which the
  154  murder occurred on or after January 1, 1970.
  155         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2025.
  157  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  158  And the title is amended as follows:
  159         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  160  and insert:
  161                        A bill to be entitled                      
  162         An act relating to cold case murders; providing a
  163         short title; creating s. 782.41, F.S.; defining terms;
  164         requiring the heads of law enforcement agencies or
  165         their designees to review certain cold cases upon
  166         receiving a written application from a designated
  167         person; requiring the heads of law enforcement
  168         agencies or their designees to make a specified
  169         determination upon receiving such application;
  170         providing requirements for such reviews; requiring law
  171         enforcement agencies to conduct a full reinvestigation
  172         of a cold case under certain circumstances; providing
  173         requirements for such reinvestigations; requiring law
  174         enforcement agencies to develop certain written
  175         applications; requiring the heads of law enforcement
  176         agencies or their designees to adopt certain
  177         procedures to ensure compliance with specified
  178         provisions; requiring law enforcement agencies to
  179         provide specified training; requiring law enforcement
  180         agencies to provide written confirmation to a
  181         designated person of receipt of an application to
  182         review a cold case; authorizing the denial of an
  183         application for review of a cold case that does not
  184         satisfy certain criteria; requiring the head of the
  185         law enforcement agency or his or her designee to issue
  186         to the designated person a written explanation of the
  187         reason or reasons for the denial; providing timeframe
  188         and notice requirements for law enforcement agencies’
  189         cold case reviews after receipt of a written
  190         application; requiring law enforcement agencies, by a
  191         specified date and periodically thereafter, to report
  192         certain data to the Global Forensic and Justice Center
  193         at Florida International University; requiring the
  194         center to establish and maintain a case tracking
  195         system and searchable public website that includes
  196         specified information; requiring the center to create
  197         and publish on its searchable public website a list of
  198         certain resources; requiring coordination between law
  199         enforcement agencies if more than one law enforcement
  200         agency conducted the initial investigation;
  201         authorizing law enforcement agencies to request
  202         investigative assistance from the Department of Law
  203         Enforcement to complete cold case reviews or
  204         reinvestigations; requiring that such requests be in
  205         writing; providing that specified provisions are
  206         subject to appropriations; providing applicability;
  207         providing an effective date.