The New York state Senate passed the DNA Databank Expansion Bill Tuesday, a bill that would significantly increase the state's DNA database system.
Current law requires those that have been convicted of felonies or misdemeanors to submit their DNA to the database. The new measure would require anyone who has been convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor to submit their sample.
Supporters of the bill hope that by increasing the databank that crime rates will go down around and that it will help exonerate those who are incarcerated for crimes they did not commit.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo applauded the Senate and urged the Assembly to quickly follow suit so that he could sign the bill into law immediately. Cuomo called the measure, which he proposed in his recent State of the State address, an important step in protecting New Yorkers and modernizing the state's criminal justice system.
However, some civil liberties groups believe that there are already inaccuracies in the current system and could lead to serious abuse by police and prosecution teams.
As the state's DNA database expands, so too does the potential for error and abuse, said Robert Perry, legislative director for the New York Civil Liberties Union.