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Joyful Heart in the News
Senate passes DNA databank expansion bill
ALBANY - The New York State Senate passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie) and Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), for the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994. The legislation mirrors the databank expansion plan proposed by Governor Cuomo in his Executive Budget to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as all misdemeanors in the penal law to submit DNA samples.
Under the existing law, people convicted of about half the crimes that are committed are required to submit DNA samples, including every penal law felony and just 36 misdemeanor crimes in the penal law. The legislation would expand that list to include all felonies in state law and every penal law misdemeanor. It is projected that the expansion would add about 46,000 individual DNA samples a year to the databank.
“Currently, not all misdemeanors and felonies require a DNA sample to be collected. The expansion is particularly critical when studies show that persons who commit serious crimes have also often committed other crimes including lower-level misdemeanors,” stated Senator Saland. “Enactment of this legislation will provide a powerful tool to bring closure to unsolved crimes and prevent further crimes from taking place.”
Senator Golden stated, "I am proud to sponsor this legislation which will significantly improve New York State's crime fighting abilities.”
The DNA databank expansion bill (S.5560A) proposal is supported by law enforcement organizations across the state, including the New York State Sheriffs Association, District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, the New York State Troopers PBA, Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, Joyful Heart Foundation, the Safe Horizon victim assistance organization and many other law enforcement groups throughout the state.