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What is the Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act of 2021 (HVFRA21)?
The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act of 2021 (HVFRA21) was passed by the 117th Congress under H.R. 3359, was signed into law on August 3, 2022 (Public Law No. 117-164), and the law goes into effect on August 2, 2023. HVFRA21 affords surviving family members the opportunity to submit a written application requesting an independent review of a cold case murder investigated wholly, or in part, by a federal law enforcement organization, in an effort to determine if a full re-investigation would result in either the identification of probative investigative leads or a likely perpetrator.
Who can submit an HVFRA21 application?
In order to request a review under HVFRA21, the following criteria must be met:
a. The death must be as a result of murder, as defined in Title 18 United States Code 1111(a) or Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 118.
b. The murder must have occurred after January 1, 1970, but not within three years or less of the date of the HVFRA21 application.
c. The murder must have been previously investigated by a federal law enforcement organization, in this instance, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and the investigation subsequently declared a “cold case murder”, in which all logical investigative leads have been exhausted and for which no perpetrator has been identified.
d. The applicant must be an immediate family member of the murder victim (Parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, sibling, spouse, child, or step-child).
e. The murder must not be currently under review through a separate HVFRA21 application and/or have been reviewed under a previously completed HVFRA21 application within the past five years.
How to submit an HVFRA21 application?
If the murder meets this criteria, please fill out the attached form to submit the written HVFRA21 application and email the application to (cchu@ncis.navy.mil).
HVFRA21 Form