innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, May 05, 2006

New York May Expand DNA Collection

This article originally appeared in the New York Times on May 4, 2006:
By DIANE CARDWELL
Published: May 4, 2006

A push to require all convicted criminals in New York to submit their DNA to a central database is gaining crucial support in Albany, where officials say it could create the most comprehensive DNA collection system in the nation.

If the proposal becomes law, it would make New York the only state to require collecting DNA from everyone convicted of felonies and misdemeanors, including youthful offenders convicted in criminal court, officials said.

Currently, 43 states require that people convicted of all felonies submit DNA, but none require samples from those convicted of all misdemeanors, and New York has required those convicted only of some felonies and some misdemeanors to do so , officials said.
Gov. George E. Pataki has pushed for an all-crimes DNA database for years and the Republican-led State Senate has approved such a bill, first introduced seven years ago. The legislation, however, has languished in the Democratic-led Assembly. But key lawmakers now say passage of a bill is quite likely if their concerns are addressed about DNA samples held by local crime labs that have been taken from people who have not been convicted.

"I think we're on our way this year to a DNA bill that will be the first in the nation to do all crimes," said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, the chairman of the Codes Committee, which has jurisdiction over criminal justice.

For the whole story, click here.

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