Drawing the Line on DNA: Sepúlveda Aims to Halt Familial Searches and Protect Privacy

Rusking Pimentel

November 3, 2023


New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda

Albany, NY – In a significant move to uphold the privacy rights of New Yorkers, State Senator Luis Sepúlveda has introduced Bill S7734, signaling a bold step towards curtailing invasive familial DNA searches by law enforcement agencies. The bill, which proposes a ban on this controversial technique, underscores a critical juncture in the fight against discrimination and the protection of civil liberties. 

"Familial DNA searches pose a stark challenge to the very fabric of our privacy rights," stated Senator Sepúlveda. "The use of such methods can inadvertently target individuals who have no involvement in criminal activities, breaching the presumption of innocence and potentially leading to unwarranted scrutiny." 

The practice of using familial DNA in criminal investigations has been under intense scrutiny. While intended to aid in solving crimes, it has the unintended consequence of disproportionately affecting minority communities, contributing to systemic bias and a breach of genetic privacy. 

"Imagine a world where your personal genetic makeup could inadvertently draw you into a criminal investigation simply because you share DNA with someone who may be involved in a crime. This is not the future we want for New York," Sepúlveda asserts. "Our bill draws a definitive line on how DNA can and cannot be used, ensuring that our citizens' civil rights are not overshadowed by overzealous policing tactics." 

In emphasizing the importance of this legislation, Senator Sepúlveda is not just advocating for the protection of individuals' privacy but is taking a stand to combat the underlying currents of discrimination that pervade aspects of the criminal justice system. 

The passage of this bill would position New York State as a leader in protecting genetic information and as a beacon for civil rights, setting a precedent that could echo through the halls of state legislatures across the country. 

With no fiscal implications, the bill is poised for immediate action. It stands as a testament to New York's commitment to leading the way in progressive reform and the fight for an equitable society. 

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