Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New York Senate Votes to Expand DNA Database

DNA Database Expansion in the Cards for New York State?

By: Joseph L. Giacalone

In what hopes to be a trend across the Nation, the New York Senate has voted (50-10) to expand the collection of DNA from all convicted offenders. The law still has some hurdles to go over, but may pave the way for other states to do the same.

The current ruling in New York is to take DNA samples from offenders convicted of a felony and some misdemeanors. Now, the new law if passed will include all Penal Law Misdemeanors. That means the size of the DNA database for New York will expand exponentially. This is a huge win for law enforcement and cold case detectives. Expanding the database now provides them with the opportunity to close even more cases, apprehend suspects faster which prevents further victimization and exonerate the innocent faster too.

Why is this huge for law enforcement? Since most cases are plead out to lower charges, often offenders skirted the DNA sample measure because their felony was plead out to a misdemeanor. A plea is a conviction. Now, those misdemeanor pleas will cause a DNA sample to be taken. If the law passes the Assembly, it will have to be signed by Governor Cuomo and he is the one that suggested it. The only thing that could be better for New York Law Enforcement is if they added taking a DNA sample for all felony arrests instead of a conviction, similar to other state's Katie's Law.

As you can imagine, the American Civil Liberties Union is not happy.

Here is a news clip talking about how this bill could have saved lives if passed earlier.

What are your thoughts?

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New York Votes to Expand DNA Database

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