Governor signs DNA testing expansion | News
ALBANY - Over time, as DNA techniques have become more refined and jurors more expectant, New York has increased the categories of convictions where DNA is tested and then matched against open crimes.
"And not to use it was actually a way of avoiding the truth," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
A woman whose 12 year old child was raped during a home invasion spoke Monday at the bill signing ceremony.
The girl's attacker roamed free to commit other rapes until caught for stealing a small amount from his employer.
That led to DNA testing under a less comprehensive law. The rapist was identified a decade after his initial crime.
"For ten years he put my family through a living hell," the woman said. "He raped other women and the thing that finally got him put behind bars was stealing a few dollars."
Now New York State will test the DNA of all prisoners convicted of felonies and penal law misdemeanors.
That should close even more open cases.
Another part of the new law expands the ability of defendants and those convicted to use DNA testing to try to prove claims of innocence.
"When a person is wrongfully convicted the real perpetrator remains free to potentially commit other crimes while an innocent person is unjustly punished," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D - Manhattan).