New York - DNA Databank Proposed for All-Crimes
New York - The state would be allowed to collect a DNA sample from anyone convicted of a crime, including misdemeanors such as curfew violation, petty theft and vandalism, under legislation announced by Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday.
While 16 states collect DNA from some who commit misdemeanors, New York would become the first with a so-called all-crimes databank, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Albany lawmakers have voted down similar proposals in the past, but supporters say this time could be different because President Barack Obama and others have voiced support for expanded DNA collection.
In announcing the legislation, Mr. Paterson noted the case of Raymon McGill, who in 2006 was convicted of two murders and of raping an 85-year-old woman after a DNA link was established to the crimes. Mr. McGill had earlier been convicted of two misdemeanors, but his DNA wasn’t collected until after a third conviction.
The legislative director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Bob Perry, said he worried that, “given the massive expansion proposed,” there would not be sufficient oversight of the databank to address human error in the form of mislabeling, misinterpretation of lab results and other issues that lead to due process and privacy concerns.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded the legislation.
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