WHEREAS, forensic science is the application of science to the law; and
WHEREAS, the successful investigation and prosecution of crimes routinely depends on the accurate scientific analysis of evidence conducted in crime laboratories at the state and local levels; and
WHEREAS, the crime laboratories located within the State of Missouri process evidence from thousands of cases annually and present their findings in state courts of law, having a direct influence on the determination of a person's innocence or guilt; and
WHEREAS, it is essential that all crime laboratories in the state provide the highest quality forensic science services to the citizens of the State of Missouri in the most efficient manner.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Matt Blunt, Governor of the State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri, hereby create and establish the Governor's "Crime Laboratory Review Commission" within the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The purpose of the commission is to provide independent review of any state or local Missouri crime laboratory receiving any amount of state-administered funding.
The establishment of the Crime Laboratory Review Commission is necessary in order to be eligible to receive federal grant funds for crime laboratories in Missouri.
The commission shall consist of six members appointed by the Governor. The members shall include: one senior manager from an ASCLD/LAB accredited crime laboratory within the state who has experience as a forensic scientist, one sworn administrator from a law enforcement agency, one prosecuting attorney, one defense attorney, one crime victims' advocate, and one representative of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The commission members shall not be compensated for their services other than reimbursement of costs directly associated with the execution of their duties.
The term "Crime Laboratory" shall mean any forensic science laboratory operated or supported financially by the state or any unit of city, county, or other local Missouri government that examines physical evidence in criminal matters and provides expert or opinion testimony in a state court of law.
The commission shall have the power to:
(A) Assess the capabilities and needs of Missouri crime laboratories, as well as their ability to deliver quality forensic services in a timely manner to law enforcement agencies in the State of Missouri, and make recommendations for improvements;
(B) Authorize independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct affecting the integrity of forensic results. The commission shall solicit input and guidance from any appropriate experts, as it deems necessary in the process of the inquiry;
(C) Appoint members to inspection or investigative teams to assist in carrying out the functions designated in sections 4(A) and 4(B) above;
(D) Issue reprimands to crime laboratories and to employees of crime laboratories found to be negligent in the execution of their responsibilities;
(E) Make recommendations for changes in procedures of crime laboratories found to be negligent in the execution of their responsibilities; and
(F) Issue a report to the Missouri Department of Public Safety summarizing any findings of negligence or misconduct of a crime laboratory or an employee of a crime laboratory and make recommendations regarding revocation or suspension of grant funding that the commission deems warranted.
The commission shall meet at least annually to review the current status of crime laboratories in the State of Missouri.
The commission shall submit an annual report to the Governor summarizing its activities and any suggestions to improve the crime laboratory system in the State of Missouri.
The Department of Public Safety shall have the authority to revoke any grant monies from a laboratory if the laboratory does not cooperate with the commission or if allegations of serious misconduct or negligence are substantiated by the commission.
This order complies with requirements in the federal "Justice For All Act of 2004"
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 7th day of June, 2007.
[Matt Blunt's signature]
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State