Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I - Schenectady) announced that the State Senate has approved legislation to implement the largest expansion of the State’s DNA databank since it was first created in 1994. The expansion would help law enforcement close thousands of unsolved cases, bring justice to crime victims, and help prevent dangerous criminals from committing additional crimes.
Senator Farley and his colleagues in the Senate Majority held a press conference on January 31st about this legislation. Schenectady County District Attorney, and former president of the New York Stat District Attorneys Association, Bob Carney was on hand for the presentation.
“Expanding the DNA databank will provide law enforcement with a powerful tool to help protect our families and local communities from sexual predators and other dangerous criminals,” Senator Farley said. “This legislation will help close thousands of unsolved cases, provide justice to crime victims and help prevent future crimes from taking place.”
Last year, the State Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation to expand the databank, and Governor Andrew Cuomo recently included a similar measure as part of his Executive Budget proposal. The new measure approved by the Senate mirrors the Governor’s proposal.
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.
However, DNA is only collected from fewer than half of convicted criminals because current law does not require the collection of DNA from many individuals convicted of certain crimes. This has hampered the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes, and enabled some criminals to remain free to commit additional acts of violence.
“Last year, I supported legislation that was approved with strong bi-partisan support in the Senate and was endorsed by district attorneys and crime victims’ advocates across the State,” Senator Farley said. “Let’s send the Assembly a clear message that New Yorkers want to expand the DNA databank to help solve even more crimes and keep dangerous criminals off the streets.”