Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, helped pass legislation Wednesday to expand the state's DNA data bank and make New York the first "all crimes DNA" state in the nation.
Under the bill, DNA samples will be collected from anyone convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor. Additionally, the bill also significantly expands defendants' access to DNA testing both before and after conviction.
"By expanding the DNA data bank we have bolstered an important public safety tool that will help to keep our streets and communities safe while ensuring that those wrongfully convicted of a crime are exonerated," Ceretto said. "This legislation will also help to ensure that New York state remains on of the safest large states in the nation."
"I am pleased that I could do my part in helping to pass this important public safety measure," Ceretto said.
He noted that the legislation will make New York the first state in the country to expand its DNA data bank so dramatically, a reform that promises to solve thousands of crimes and prevent thousands of others.
Since its launch in 1996, New York state's DNA data bank has been a powerful tool both for preventing and solving crimes - including more than 2,900 convictions - and for proving innocence - including 27 individuals exonerated and countless suspects cleared early-on in investigations.