NY Governor Proposes All-Crimes DNA Bill Law to Help Crime Victims
Posted on: Thursday, January 5, 2012
In his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that he will propose an important new law to bring closure to unsolved crimes and prevent further crimes from taking place. The All Crimes DNA Bill will expand the State’s DNA databank and require the collection of a DNA sample from any person convicted of any crime.
“The Governor’s proposed law to collect DNA for all penal law convictions is a critical step to prevent future violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, said Ariel Zwang, Safe Horizon CEO. “At Safe Horizon, we see firsthand how devastating violent crimes are for New Yorkers. We thank the Governor for his hard work to move New York towards a safer and violence-free future for our families.”
Right now, less than half of misdemeanors require a DNA sample to be collected, even when studies show that persons who commit serious crimes have also often committed lower-level misdemeanors such as petit larceny and trespassing. DNA can help convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent, if only the law applied to all misdemeanor offenses. The sooner an all-crimes DNA law is put into effect, the sooner we can be sure that all possible steps are being taken to protect New Yorkers from the trauma and violence of crime.
As an organization that helps hundreds of thousands of victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and other crimes, Safe Horizon has been a long-time advocate of efforts to expand the existing law. Since 2006, when the law was last expanded, the number of case-to-offender hits through the database has increased by over 1,000%.
Under the current law, persons convicted of felonies or one of 18 specified misdemeanors or attempted E felonies must submit a DNA sample which is then compared with other unidentified samples in the State’s DNA database. When these hits result in the arrest and conviction of an offender, the State has almost certainly prevented additional heinous crimes from taking place. For New Yorkers throughout the State, this law when passed will add a critical measure of security and safety.