Thomas F. O'Mara's Blog

Expand the DNA databank?

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There's a key criminal justice debate currently underway throughout New York State.

This debate took front and center stage in our region a little over a week ago when a number of the area’s law enforcement leaders joined New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico in Elmira to express their strong support for legislation to expand New York's DNA databank.

In late January the Senate approved legislation I'm co-sponsoring that, if enacted, would mark the largest expansion of the state’s DNA databank since it was created in 1994.The Senate legislation mirrors an expansion plan recently proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to require people convicted of all felonies, as well as all misdemeanors in the penal law, to submit DNA samples. 

But it won’t become law unless the state Assembly agrees to act on it.

Just today, the Governor announced that "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 have endorsed the DNA Databank Expansion bill, which will help solve more crimes, prevent crimes, bring justice to victims and exonerate innocent New Yorkers."  Read more...

Currently in New York, DNA is only collected in approximately 46 percent of crimes.

Share your opinion.

And if you agree that New York's DNA databank should be expanded, you can also show your support through the Senate's online "Join The Fight" petition.