Senator Little votes to expand DNA databank to protect New Yorkers

Betty Little

January 31, 2012

        Senator Betty Little today voted in favor of legislation that would dramatically improve the effectiveness of New York’s criminal justice system by requiring individuals convicted of all crimes, felonies and misdemeanors, submit a DNA sample for the state’s databank.  Current law requires DNA be collected from criminals convicted under about half of New York’s penal laws.

       "This is the 21st Century fingerprint.  To not use the technology readily available to prosecute the guilty, exonerate the innocent and protect the public is unconscionable,” said Little.

       “We need to the State Assembly to join the Senate and Governor Cuomo in support of this common-sense measure.”

       Since its inception in 1994, the DNA databank has helped solve about 10,000 crimes, including 900 murders and 3,500 sexual assaults.  The databank has been expanded numerous times since then and with each expansion its effectiveness improves, said Little.

       The legislation (S5560a) mirrors a proposal included in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget.

       The New York State Sheriffs Association, District Attorneys Association of the State of New York and the New York State Troopers PBA are among numerous law enforcement organizations supporting the legislation.  Crime victim advocacy groups are also encouraging passage of the legislation this year.