Gov. David Paterson wants to expand the state’s DNA databank so anyone convicted of a crime — including misdemeanors — would be required to submit a DNA sample. Juvenile and sex offenders would also have their samples on file, Paterson announced yesterday.
Under current law, criminals convicted of any felony or 35 specific misdemeanors must submit DNA samples. It fails to cover 54 percent of people convicted of crimes, the bill’s proponents say.
“To not require convicted criminals to provide a DNA sample in this day and age, is like not bothering to fingerprint them,” Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City said.
He believes the expanded databank could help deter future crimes and exonerate those wrongfully convicted.
The plan would cost $400,000 this year and $1.57 million annually. The state’s district attorneys support it, but the NYCLU is worried about error and abuse because the state lacks safeguards and standards for DNA collection and sample maintenance.