Eyewitness Identification Reform

State statute requires that by January 30, 2019, any criminal justice entity conducting eyewitness identifications must either adopt the Louisiana Sheriff’s Executive Management Institute (LSEMI) model policy or draft its own policy based on credible research and relevant best practices. At minimum, policies must include: blind administration, proper instructions to the witness; proper use of fillers, witness confidence statements, and the recording of identification procedures. The law provides that failure to comply may be considered by the district court in deciding whether to suppress an eyewitness identification. Effective: 2019.

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Read the model policy

Recording of Interrogations

Louisiana has no state law requiring recorded interrogations.

Post Conviction DNA Testing

Any person convicted of a felony may petition for post-conviction DNA testing. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2014.

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Evidence Preservation

State statute requires that all evidence in cases resulting in a death sentence be preserved until the defendant has been executed. It also requires preservation of evidence connected to all felony cases upon petition until August 31, 2019 and for all cases as of August 15, 2001 with guilty verdicts or where pleas were taken. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2014.

Louisiana's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

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Exoneree Compensation

Starting July 1, 2022, a person whose conviction has been vacated and who can prove factual innocence may file a petition for compensation to be awarded at the rate of $40,000 per year of wrongful incarceration with a cap of $400,000. Beginning July 1, 2022, any petitioner who has been awarded compensation on or after Sept. 1, 2005 and prior to July 1, 2022, may file a petition seeking supplemental compensation at the new rate (it was previously $25,000/yr), however these petitioners must file for supplemental compensation on or before July 1, 2023. Additionally, petitioners who have not been compensated before have the option of accepting a lump sum of $250,000 in lieu of $40,000 annually. Effective: 2005; Amended most recently: 2021.

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