New York State Bar Association President Vincent E. Doyle III issued the following statement after Senate passage of a DNA bill sponsored by Senate Codes Committee Chair Stephen Saland. The bill expands the collection of DNA to include all individuals convicted of felonies and Penal Law misdemeanors.

"Today the state Senate passed a bill that mirrors Governor Cuomo's proposal to expand the collection of DNA. We agree with the Governor that expanding the DNA database would help exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty. However, a State Bar report found that wrongful convictions are caused by a number of other factors as well.

"Therefore, we propose that the Legislature consider such measures as requiring the videotape recording of police interrogations; addressing mistaken-identity testimony with changes in how police lineups are conducted; strengthening a prosecutor's obligation to turn over evidence favorable to the defense; and allowing a defendant who had pleaded guilty to a crime he or she did not commit to petition a judge to obtain a DNA test to establish his or her innocence."

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  It was founded in 1876.

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Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director of Media Services & Public Affairs
lbang-jensen@nysba.org
518/487-5530