New York Plans to Expand DNA Database
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer wants to broaden the state’s database of DNA samples to include individuals found guilty of a majority of crimes, while making it simpler for inmates to utilize DNA to attempt to prove their innocence.
Presently, the state obtains DNA from people convicted of around 50 percent of all crimes, usually the most serious.
Spitzer’s idea would mandate DNA to be taken from individuals deemed guilty of any misdemeanor, including minor drug violations, harassment, or unsanctioned use of a credit card, according to a draft of his proposal. It would not include acts regarded as violations, such as disorderly conduct.
In widening its database to include all misdemeanors and felonies, New York would be fairly unique, although a group of states obtain DNA from certain defendants when arrested, even prior to conviction.
In addition, Spitzer wants required sampling of all inmates in New York, and of those people on parole, on probation, or who are registered sex offenders. That change would add around 50,000 samples to the database, at a price of around $1.75 million.
Police authorities and prosecutors nationally have lauded DNA collection as one of the best law-enforcement tools.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the New York Times (05/14/07); McGeehan, Patrick.