Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River) and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy join with law enforcement officials to express their support for DNA databank expansion.
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River) joined Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy and local law enforcement officials calling for passage of the DNA Databank Expansion Bill at a press conference held in Watertown. Legislation was recently passed in the state Senate that would greatly increase the types of criminals from whom New York State can take DNA samples. The bill has not been voted on in the Assembly, but Blankenbush vows to work toward getting the legislation to the floor for an up-or-down vote.
DNA identification science has become more sophisticated and accurate, and its a tool that New York law enforcement must use to its full advantage in order to help the victims of violent crimes, said Blankenbush. As criminology improves, we have learned many things, namely that violent criminals often have long histories of other, lesser crimes. Knowing this, we have a responsibility to the people to expand New Yorks DNA databank in order to catch those criminals who may have, in the past, slipped through the cracks. This is for the safety of our families and communities.
The Senate version of the DNA Databank Expansion Bill, which also is supported by the Cuomo administration, would allow for the state to take DNA samples from all felony and misdemeanor offenders, including those who have committed crimes like DUI and animal cruelty. Existing law only allows for DNA samples to be collected from felons.
Blankenbush supports the Senate version, but also would welcome, at the very least, penal code misdemeanor criminal inclusion, which doesnt include items like DUI. Assemblyman Blankenbush, however, believes the Senate version by widening the scope will serve New Yorkers more effectively, and insists that the legislation should come to an immediate vote in the Assembly.