Section 36-18-20

Declaration of purpose.

The Legislature hereby finds, determines and declares:

(a) That the tragic incidence of violent crime in our society is growing at an alarming rate, and that these offenses often times are committed by repeat or habitual offenders against our most innocent and defenseless citizens.

(b) That there is a critical and urgent need to provide law enforcement officers and agencies with the latest scientific technology available for the purpose of identifying, apprehending, arresting, and convicting those violent offenders.

(c) That DNA testing, profiling, and analysis allows a more certain and rapid identification of such offenders as well as the exoneration of those wrongfully suspected or accused.

(d) That genetic identification technology through DNA testing is generally accepted by the relevant scientific community.

(e) That the procedures and techniques employing the underlying theory of DNA identification is capable of producing reliable results and are generally accepted in the relevant scientific community.

(f) That genetic identification established through DNA testing and analysis should be admissible as a matter of evidence in all courts of this state and that juries, both civil and criminal, should be responsible for assessing the weight, if any, to be given to expert testimony or evidence.

(g) That the creation and establishment of a statewide DNA database is the most reasonable and certain method or means to rapidly identify repeat or habitually dangerous criminals.

(h) That the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences should be authorized and empowered to analyze, type and record any and all genetic markers contained in or derived from DNA and to create a statewide DNA database system for collection, storage and maintenance of genetic identification information as the same may pertain to the identification of criminal suspects.

(i) That because of the nature of genetic identification certain occasions may arise when genetic information may serve an array of humanitarian purposes, including, but not limited to, the identification of human remains from natural or mass disasters or the identification of missing, deceased or unidentified persons.

(j) That through the development of a population statistical database which does not include therein individual personal identification information an important research mechanism is obtained for the causation, detection and prevention of disease.

(k) That genetic identification is a rapidly expanding technology and the Director of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences should be authorized and empowered to adopt reasonable rules and regulations to support identification research and the development of standard protocols for forensic DNA analysis or tests and DNA quality control.

(l) That such needs are and ought to be intimately affected with the public interest.

The provisions of this article are to be liberally construed so as to accomplish these purposes and to promote the same which are hereby declared to be the public policy of this state.

(Acts 1994, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 94-804, p. 109, §1.)