Expanded DNA Databank Will Provide Enhanced Crime Fighting Tool for Law Enforcement
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that a new law he supported to help better enable law enforcement to use DNA to catch criminals takes effect today.
The groundbreaking law expands the State’s DNA databank by requiring anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor to submit a DNA sample. The new law is one of the most significant criminal justice reforms in the state’s history and puts New York State at the nation’s forefront in expanding and utilizing DNA databanks to solve crimes.
“DNA is an invaluable crime-fighting tool which helps law enforcement catch and convict criminals. However, more than half the criminals in New York State were not required to submit DNA samples under the prior law. Expanding the database will give police and district attorneys greater ability to solve crimes, apprehend criminals, and make our streets safer for everyone,” said Senator Fuschillo.
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.
Prior to the new law however, fewer than half of convicted criminals were required to submit DNA because certain crimes were not included under the law. This hampered law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes, and enabled some criminals to remain free to commit additional crimes.
The likelihood of solving more crimes increases with the collection of additional offender samples. All new samples taken will be matched against more than 40,000 crime scene samples-each representing an unsolved crime-currently in the state’s DNA databank.