Senator Golden Joins Senate Passage of Legislation That Expands Dna Databank

Martin J. Golden

June 16, 2011

All Felony and Misdemeanor Convictions Would Require Submission of DNA Sample

Albany- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today joined colleagues in the New York State Senate to support passage of legislation, (S.5560) that significantly expands the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes by requiring those convicted of all felonies and misdemeanors to submit DNA samples. The measure, sponsored by Senator Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), is supported by the District Attorneys across the state, crime victims’ advocates and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill would greatly enhance the DNA database to protect communities by keeping more criminals off the streets, while also reducing the financial costs and victims’ emotional strain by solving more crimes in an expeditious manner.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “Currently, not all misdemeanors require a DNA sample to be collected, even when studies show that persons who commit serious crimes have also often committed lower-level misdemeanors. This legislation ensures that all possible steps are being taken and will be a powerful tool to bring closure to unsolved crimes and prevent further crimes from taking place. For New Yorkers throughout the state, this legislation will add a critical measure of security and safety.”

“Case after case has shown that we are tying the hands of law enforcement and prolonging justice for victims by not including the ability to sample all criminals for the DNA databank," continued Senator Golden.

Since its creation in 1996, the state’s DNA databank has transformed criminal investigations and prosecutions to make them more accurate and effective, as well as helped to exonerate the innocent. However, DNA is only collected in approximately 46 percent of crimes because current law does not include the collection of DNA from all those convicted of crimes, such as some misdemeanors. This has reduced law enforcement’s ability to resolve investigations as quickly and enabled some criminals to remain free to commit more crimes, sometimes with devastating consequences.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.