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The expansion of the DNA databank can be used for good, but the State has to be careful to put protections in place. Collecting the DNA samples of those convicted of just low-level crimes can be a dangerous slope and could disproportionately affect minorities. There needs to be protections in place for all, not just some, defendants, along with other reforms to the investigation and evidence-gathering process itself. At the end of the day, the intent of any DNA effort should at the core be about freeing wrongly-convicted people.
Legislators in Albany reached a deal today to expand the State's DNA databank. Currently, criminals convicted of felonies and 36 misdemeanors must submit DNA to assist law enforcement and lawyers in proving innocence and guilt. The new law would require DNA samples for all misdemeanors, including many low-level crimes like first degree loitering.
Supporters of the bill, including all 62 District Attorneys in New York, say collecting DNA from those convicted of misdemeanors will help identify suspects of more violent crimes. Opponents say low-level crimes shouldn't result in a person's DNA being stored. What do you say?
What's your reaction to the deal in Albany to expand the DNA databank? Should those convicted of low-level misdemeanors have their information recorded? Are you surprised by the pace of negotiations in Albany, given the approaching budget deadline?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
First it was surprise eye scans, now it's compiling DNA. Where will it end?
This is solely about government intrusion into the lives of Americans. Starting with what an overreaching government has deemed criminal elements, they will soon expand the fourth amendment violations to everyone else, one group at a time.
Wake up New York and stop acting like a bunch of sheep!
Its our GOP legislators and their friend Emperor Andrew who is running for President in 2016; NY's gift to the hinterland. What is Skelos afraid of in his gaited community, that loiterers could only serve time for loitering? what a crew!. Im starting to consider another country with Santorum rising. Ive never met a republican i liked or a democrat that acts like one.
I totally agree with the decision to expand the State's DNA database by including many low-level crimes like first degree loitering.
This DNA practice is getting closer and closer to being an unjustified search and seizure, another version of stop and frisk, Soon cops patrolling your neighborhood be armed with needle and swab.
What’s next, a DNA sample from double parkers or jay walkers?
Heil Bloomberg! Heil Bloomberg! Heil Bloomberg and Kelly, Commandants of the NYC Police State.
THIS LEGISLATURE IS NOT INTENDED TO "CURB CRIME" BUT IS INTENDED TO GATHER AND STORE DNA ON PERSONS OF A "SPECIFIC CLASSS" SOLEY FOR THE PURPOSE GATHERING IDENTIFICATION INTO A "DATA BANK".
If DNA is collected as part of the crime, then it should go into the database. If DNA has no involvement in the crime, such as fare beating, then no.
By the way, would Elliot Spitzer be in the DNA database based on what he did with prostitutes while he was governor?
Upper East Side
so two 12-year-olds sneak into a movie they would be required to give a dna sample. Does it matter if the kids are males or females. Black or white?
Tracking of DNA is a definite no-brainer. For those who keep bringing up the scenario of discarding a cigarette butt or soda/beer bottle near a crime scene, that’s reason #195,783 to stop smoking; as far as the discarded bottles/cans go, you already broke the litter law by discarding them in the street. So bring your trash home or dump it in the proper receptacles, and you won’t have a problem. Also, I have no sympathy for those who make stupid mistakes like the one caller admitted.
Actually, they should store everyone’s DNA regardless. It would be a fantastic tool in identifying lost/kidnapped children, seniors with Alzheimer's who wander off, identities of body parts in catastrophes, etc.
Collect DNA from Congressmen and Wall Street Banksters. They are the REAL criminals in society.
1) What happens to your DNA when you are wrongly accused and convicted?
2) These law makers, crooks and hypocrites all need to be voted out.
I have had profound concerns over this bill, though I admit to having read only journalistic synopses. The Bar’s position doesn’t strike me as fair or evenhanded, despite that it gives the appearance of being so. The idea that such DNA collection can be used to exonerate the innocent appears as a gift that is in fact superfluous: where a crime is committed and DNA evidence is available that may assist in exoneration, the innocent defendant can be tested and DNA collected, then and for that purpose. When there is DNA evidence of another party, not the defendant, it is already exculpatory.
It strikes me there ought to be some trace concern for privacy rights and the fact that DNA collection could be put to innumerable uses -not least of which is eugenic. Privacy is a concept difficult to define; except, largely, in the negative as freedom, relief or mitigation from inspection or intrusion. There is brilliance in the brevity of the Constitution that lies in unenumerated rights; and ‘privacy’ is in fact a penumbra of rights, the extent of which we cannot determine abstractly ex ante.
Misdemeanor crimes (or lesser crimes of ‘bad demeanor’ or ‘conduct’) just don’t seem to legitimate collection of such intrusive and scrutinizing evidence. There is good reason why misdemeanors usually do not result in the loss of civil rights, as is the case with felonies. And there is a parallel here. Moreover, should such evidence be permitted to be examined for the propensity for antisocial behavior, if such a test be possible? Should it then be permissible –when it will clearly be tempting – to subject individuals whose DNA indicates such a propensity to investigation or interrogation , or to permit their identification as a ‘person of interest’ for future crimes? DNA will continue to present a potential Pandora’s Box. We cannot know the extent to which future authority can have knowledge of our persons in ways unknown even to ourselves. A database that retains such knowledge cannot be compared with , for example, fingerprints.
Limiting collection to felons substantially lessens the likelihood that DNA collection can be put to any other systematic use.
I should further add that insofar as taking such DNA evidence is inimical, should misdemeanor wrongs in one’s youth expose a person for the rest of his or her life?
They should do a study of whether people who are convicted of misdemeanors (e.g., DWI) are meaningfully more likely than the average person to commit or have committed a violent crime that could be solved by DNA. If that is the case, the new law makes sense.
In regards to expanding dna collection of ALL persons that are "convicted" by a court-of-law, let us not forget that this is all about class warfare aimed at controlling the working class. We live in a racist motivated society that is run by gangsters, called politicians. My point is this, regardless of the people's opposition to this bill the State, in the interest of the rich, will pass this bill for it is in their best interest to do so.