DNA is a Crucial Crime-Fighting Tool
March 6, 2012
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
DNA is a crucial crime-fighting tool that has the power to prevent crime, convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent. Currently, DNA is only collected from less than half of all crimes on the books in New York. Even with its currently limited information, the DNA databank has provided leads in over 2,900 convictions and helped exonerate 27 innocent New Yorkers.
To better protect New Yorkers and improve the state's criminal justice system, Governor Cuomo has proposed legislation to obtain DNA from anyone convicted of any felony or Penal Law misdemeanor. With this expanded base of information, crime fighting will improve.
On March 1, 2012, Governor Cuomo was joined at the Capitol by victims groups supporting this important legislation. A mother of a rape survivor, shared her story of how the DNA database identified her daughter’s rapist 10 years later when he was convicted of petty larceny.
A “modern-day fingerprint,” has the power to bring justice to victims and their families. This initiative is supported by all 62 County District Attorneys, all of the state’s 58 County Sheriffs, more than 400 New York State Police Chiefs, and leading victims’ advocacy groups to expand the DNA database. The Governor’s proposed bill will be a big step forward In preventing crime, bringing justice to the guilty and exonerating the innocent.