Monday, January 9, 2012

Proposed DNA bank could ensnare NY graffiti artists

Fortune-tellers beware: palm-reading could land you in New York state's criminal DNA database.

Convicted graffiti artists, subway turnstile-jumpers and anybody who writes a bad check could also end up with their genetic information permanently on file under a proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Democrat on Wednesday proposed expanding the database, which was created in 1996 and collects DNA samples from people convicted of felonies and some serious misdemeanors. Cuomo wants it to include anyone convicted of a crime under the state's Penal Law.

If the measure passes, New York would have the most expansive DNA database in the country.

For years, supporters have said a larger DNA bank would help lock up criminals and exonerate innocent people.

"DNA is the state of the art, and it's a sword that cuts both ways," said Sen. Stephen Saland, a Republican who last year sponsored a bill to expand the database. Read More