New York state is poised to create one of the most expansive DNA databases in the nation, requiring people convicted of everything from fare beating to first-degree murder to provide DNA samples to the state, the New York Times reports. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators are making a deal to establish an all-crimes DNA database, which is backed by all of the state’s 62 district attorneys, 58 sheriffs, and 400 police chiefs.
New York already collects DNA from convicted felons and some people convicted of misdemeanors, but prosecutors say collecting DNA from all people convicted of misdemeanors will help them identify suspects of more violent crimes, and, in some cases, exonerate people wrongly accused. “Every single time we've expanded the DNA database, we have shown how effective it is in convicting people who commit crimes, and we've also shown that it can be used to exonerate the innocent,” said Richard Aborn, the president of the Citizens Crime Commission. Lisa Hurst, a forensic DNA consultant with the firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs, said New York would be the first state to require all criminals to submit DNA samples.