Senate, Assembly and Governor join forces to expand DNA database
Senator Ranzenhofer has announced today that legislation, implementing the largest expansion of New York’s DNA databank since it was first created in 1994, is expected to become law. The database expansion, which has been agreed to by Governor Cuomo and the State Assembly, will help close thousands of unsolved cases, bring justice to crime victims and help prevent dangerous criminals from committing more crimes.
“I fought to expand the DNA databank with the support of thousands of citizens through online petitions and with help from local law enforcement officials. I am pleased to report that this important measure will soon become law. This will greatly enhance the ability of law enforcement to protect residents and bring justice to crime victims,” said Ranzenhofer.
“DNA is the 21st century equivalent of a fingerprint. It helps solve crimes by ensuring perpetrators are prosecuted, and the innocent are protected. After the All-Crimes DNA bill is signed into law, New York will be a leader in fighting crime with a first of its kind DNA database,” said Ranzenhofer.
Senator Ranzenhofer has led the effort to expand the databank, garnering strong public backing for the proposal through an online petition and news conferences with local law enforcement officials. Several thousand citizens from communities across Western New York and across the State signed on in support of the measure.
The State Senate previously approved a DNA database expansion bill last year with the support of district attorneys and crime victims’ advocates. Governor Cuomo also included a similar proposal as part of the 2012 Executive Budget, and the Senate passed a bill in January that mirrored his proposal.
The new legislation requires anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor to provide a DNA sample – dramatically expanding the information pool used by law enforcement and prosecutors.
Since its inception, the State’s DNA databank has transformed criminal investigations and prosecutions to make them more accurate and effective, in addition to helping exonerate the innocent.