A proposal to require all convicted criminals in New York State to submit their DNA to a central database is gaining key support in Albany, where officials say it could create the most comprehensive DNA collection system in the nation, reports the New York Times. New York could become the only state to require collecting DNA from everyone convicted of felonies and misdemeanors, including youthful offenders convicted in criminal court. Now, 43 states require that people convicted of all felonies submit DNA, but none requires samples from those convicted of all misdemeanors.
Gov. George E. Pataki has pushed for an all-crimes DNA database for years and the Republican-led State Senate has approved such a bill. Key members of the Democratic-led Assembly say passage is quite likely if their concerns are addressed about DNA samples held by local crime labs that have been taken from people who have not been convicted. Yesterday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gathered the city’s five district attorneys outside a forensics lab the city is building to push for the measure’s passage. Critics worry that a new deluge of genetic material will overtax labs and yield insufficient crime-fighting improvements.