Safe Horizon Supports Governor Paterson's Effort to Expand DNA Testing

Posted on: Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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Michael Polenberg, VP of Government Affairs and co-chair, Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, delivered prepared remarks at NY State Governor Paterson's press conference this morning. Governor Paterson convened a press conference to announce that he is submitting legislation that will require everyone convicted of a penal law crime in New York State to provide a DNA sample.

"DNA is the most powerful tool ever discovered to solve crimes, prevent crimes and exonerate the innocent, but remarkably in New York State we are still collecting DNA from only 46 percent of the criminals convicted of penal law crimes," Governor Paterson said. "Today, I call on the Legislature to enact my all-crimes DNA bill, which would require everyone convicted of a penal law offense, as well as youthful offenders sex offenders, to submit a DNA sample."

On behalf of the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, Polenberg expressed support of Governor Paterson's efforts and said, "This law will be a powerful tool to bring closure to unsolved crimes and prevent further crimes from taking place. For victims of violence and abuse, the Governor's proposal will add a much needed measure of security and safety. The Downstate Coalition is happy to stand with our colleagues in law enforcement, government and policy to urge lawmakers in Albany to pass this bill into law as quickly as possible. The sooner this law is put into effect, the sooner we can be sure that all possible steps are being taken to protect New Yorkers from crime."

The Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims is a consortium of over 90 victim service providers, advocates, prosecutors, and survivors from New York City, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties.

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Safe Horizon's mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.

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