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New York State Set to Add All Convict DNA to Its Database

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JOHN ELIGON and THOMAS KAPLAN
NY Times
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ALBANY — New York is poised to establish one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring people convicted of everything from fare beating to first-degree murder to provide samples of their DNA to the state.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers were putting the finishing touches on a deal to establish a so-called all-crimes DNA database, a move that is supported by all of the state’s 62 district attorneys and 58 sheriffs, as well as 400 police chiefs. New York already collects DNA from convicted felons and some people convicted of misdemeanors, but prosecutors say collecting DNA from all people convicted of misdemeanors will help them identify suspects of more violent crimes, and, in some cases, exonerate people wrongly accused.

“Every single time we’ve expanded the DNA database, we have shown how effective it is in convicting people who commit crimes, and we’ve also shown that it can be used to exonerate the innocent,” said Richard M. Aborn, the president of the Citizens Crime Commission.

Mr. Cuomo has made expansion of the DNA database a top priority for the year. His spokesman, as well as Lisa Hurst, a forensic DNA consultant with the firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, said New York would be the first state to require all criminals to submit DNA samples. The spokesman declined to comment on the state of negotiations, but a senior administration official said negotiators were “very close” to a deal.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:58 am





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