DNA Databank Bill Helps Protect Public
August 6, 2012
By Stephanie West
The recently passed DNA Expansion bill took effect August 2, 2012. This law, passed by the State Legislature in March, makes New York the first state in the nation to require the collection of DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony or Penal Law misdemeanor.
Previously, only 48 percent of offenders convicted of a Penal Law offense were required to provide a DNA sample. Even with this limited information, the DNA Databank helped New York State prosecutors obtain nearly 3,000 convictions, including 626 sexual offense cases and 202 murder cases. It’s important to note that DNA evidence has been critical in exonerating 27 New Yorkers and excluding countless innocent individuals from suspicion, often at the earliest stages of investigation.
With this historic legislation passed by the NYS Legislature, we have greatly improved law enforcement’s ability to keep New Yorkers safe and bring justice to victims of violent crimes, as well as those who have been wrongly convicted.
With more offender samples being collected, the likelihood that more crimes will be solved increases.