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I normally try to avoid Times Square. If you've ever been (or even if you just share my deep appreciation for peaceful, serene places), you might know the feeling of being overwhelmed and dizzied by the thousands of people and by all the bright billboards that, even during the night, cast a bright glow over Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets in New York City. But last Wednesday night was a different experience altogether.
Yesterday, representatives from Joyful Heart, including myself, went to Albany to advocate for the expansion of New York State’s DNA Databank to include samples from all convicted offenders. Right now in New York, state law only allows for collection of DNA from offenders convicted in just 48% of all crimes. We went up with a statewide coalition of advocates, law enforcement, survivors and policymakers. We met with representatives in both political parties in the Senate and Assembly, as well as members of the press. We went with a simple message: pass all crimes DNA legislation.