New York Statehas a new DNA Databank today making New Yorkthe first state in the nation to require the collection of DNA samples from anyone convicted of any felony or Penal Law misdemeanor. Governor Cuomo at the bill signing ceremony in March said the bill will go far to assist law enforcement agencies across the state..
Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne says “The collection of DNA after conviction has led to countless convictions and will also be used to exonerate and quickly rule out those inappropriately under suspicion.” Franklin County SheriffKevin Mulverhillsays “Law enforcement is tasked with the safety of all residents we serve. The expansion of the DNA Databank will provide investigators with additional resources to solve crimes, prevent future crimes and increase the safety of our residents.” Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague says “Expansion of the DNA Databank is a proposal with only positive benefits.. enhancing the ability to apprehend serial offenders, and exonerating those wrongly accused..”
Previously, only 48 percent of offenders convicted of a Penal Law offense were required to provide a DNA sample. Even with this limited information, the DNA Databank helped New YorkStateprosecutors obtain nearly 3,000 convictions, including 626 sexual offense cases and 202 murder cases. DNA evidence also has helped exonerate 27 New Yorkers and exclude countless innocent individuals from suspicion, often at the earliest stages of investigation.
With more offender samples being collected, the likelihood that more crimes will be solved increases; new samples are matched against more than 40,000 DNA samples from unsolved crimes that are currently in the state’s DNA Databank.