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All Crimes Databank Is First in the Nation

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos today announced that Governor Cuomo has signed into law, legislation that would expand the state’s DNA databank to create the first “all crimes” DNA databank in the nation.

“This is truly one of the most significant criminal justice measures in state history and one that will put New York on the cutting edge when it comes to protecting our citizens,” Senator Skelos said. “Expanding the databank makes it a better and more effective resource for police and district attorneys to apprehend and prosecute criminals.”

Under the existing law, people convicted of about half the crimes that are committed are required to submit DNA samples, including every penal law felony and just 36 misdemeanor crimes in the penal law. The new law expands that list to include all felonies in state law and every penal law misdemeanor. It is projected that the expansion would add about 46,000 individual DNA samples a year to the databank.

At a bill signing ceremony in the Capitol, Senator Skelos pointed out that Senate Republicans first pushed to create the DNA databank in 1994. Since that time, they have successfully fought to expand it four times, including:

> Expanding it to include violent felony offenses in 1999;
> Adding 100 new felonies and misdemeanors in 2004;
> Expanding it to include crimes committed against corrections and law enforcement officers in 2004; and
> Expanding the databank to include all felonies in the Penal Law and 17 misdemeanors, a law sponsored by Senator Skelos in 2006.

“It simply makes sense to expand the DNA databank to include all crimes,” Senator Skelos said. “This would not have been possible without the strong support of district attorneys from across the state, including DAs from Nassau and Suffolk counties, as well as law enforcement groups and victim advocacy organizations.”