Robach Announces Passage Of Legislation To Eliminate Statute Of Limitations And Expand Dna Databank

Joseph E. Robach

February 15, 2006

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would hold violent criminals accountable for their actions by closing a loophole that allows them to escape prosecution and punishment for their crimes after five years.

Legislation (S.5342) passed by the Senate today, sponsored by Senator Dean Skelos (R, Rockville Centre), would eliminate the statute of limitations period in criminal cases where the identity of the offender is established by means of DNA evidence. Under current law, rapists and other violent criminals can escape prosecution when charges are not formally brought up within five years. Presently, only prosecutions for murder and other violent class A felonies are exempt for any statute of limitations.

The bill would also:

Require offenders adjudicated as youthful offenders to provide a DNA sample for inclusion in the State DNA Databank;

Make it a crime when a designated offender fails to provide a DNA sample; and

Add the new crime of aggravated perjury.

The Senate also passed legislation (S.6524), sponsored by Senator Skelos that would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain class B violent felonies.

Legislation (S.2214), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), passed by the Senate today would eliminate the statute of limitations on class B violent felonies and would also extend the statute of limitations on sexual assault against a child.

In addition, the Senate passed legislation (S.2852), sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R, Syosset), that would ensure that when there is relevant DNA evidence available, the admissible evidence will be admitted and considered during trial. DNA technology has progressed to the point where the admissibility of properly collected and analyzed data should not be in doubt.

The bills were sent to the Assembly.