Thursday, August 29, 2019

Rep. Vieira Appointed to Task Force Studying the Preservation and Storage of Crime Evidence

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed Representative David T. Vieira (R-Falmouth) to serve on a special legislative Task Force on the Preservation and Storage of Evidence.

Created as part of a Fiscal Year 2019 supplemental budget signed in July, the task force will review the existing legal and regulatory framework governing the preservation and storage of evidence collected during crime investigations and introduced in criminal proceedings before the state’s courts. The task force will also study the feasibility and anticipated cost associated with constructing and maintaining a statewide evidence storage facility.

“David has a clear understanding of the laws that relate to public safety, having served as a member of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security since 2011,” said Representative Jones.  “I am confident his experience will be an asset to the task force as it seeks to identify ways to improve the handling of critical evidence collected as part of a criminal proceeding.”

Representative Vieira is one of six legislators serving on the 17-member task force, which is being co-chaired by Representative Claire Cronin (D-Easton) and Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton), who currently serve as the House and Senate chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.

Attorney General Maura Healey will also serve on the task force, along with the chief justices of the supreme judicial court, superior court and district court.  Additional members will include two elected district attorneys appointed by the president of the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association and five members appointed by Governor Charlie Baker, including a police officer with experience in evidence collection and preservation; a criminal defense attorney; and a professor of evidence at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

The task force is expected to file a report, along with any recommended legislation, on or before March 31, 2020.

Representative Vieira represents the 3rd Barnstable District, which consists of Precincts 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Bourne; Precincts 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 in Falmouth; and the town of Mashpee.  In addition to holding the title of Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets, Vieira is also a member of the House and Joint Committees on Rules and the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.