Evidence Preservation in Texas
State statute requires the automatic preservation of biological evidence in felony cases. This evidence must be retained until the inmate dies, is executed, or is released on parole for individuals convicted for a capital felony. For those persons sentenced to a term of confinement or imprisonment the evidence must be preserved until the defendant dies, completes the sentence, or is released on parole or mandatory supervision. When an individual is sentenced to community supervision the evidence must be preserved until the defendant completes the term of supervision. In cold cases, evidence is to be retained for no less than 40 years or until the applicable statute of limitations has expired. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2013.
Texas’ statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.