The use of DNA technology has revolutionized the criminal justice system in the United States. It has meant that perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes, survivors receive the justice they deserve and thousands more are spared the trauma and pain of sexual violence.
Studies show that individuals who commit serious crimes, like rape, are generally serial offenders who have also been convicted of lower-level misdemeanors. A single DNA sample often matches to multiple cold cases when entered into the New York DNA Databank. In fact, since New York began collecting DNA samples for some misdemeanor convictions in 2006, offender profiles from shoplifting and criminal trespass convictions alone have matched to 332 sexual assault cases.
And yet, current law limits the collection of DNA samples for entry into the Databank to offenders convicted of penal law felonies and only certain misdemeanors. As a result, the Databank captures offender profiles for only 46% of crimes in the state penal law.
It is now time for New York to use DNA to its fullest potential.
Please join Mariska, the Joyful Heart Foundation and a broad-based coalition of advocates, including the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, in supporting efforts to expand the New York DNA Databank. Send a message to your New York State representatives today, encouraging them to pass a bill that will bring healing and justice to survivors, hold violent offenders accountable, solve and prevent crimes and avoid wrongful conviction.
Click here to send your message.
Visit www.dnastopscrime.com to learn more about expanding New York State’s DNA Databank.
Memo from the Coalition of Women Prisoners about and in support of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (A.7874-A/S.5436)
We received this recently to add to our blog site about this law being presented in the Courts. What is particularly interesting to note, besides the attempt to have alternative sentencing for (verified) victims of domestic violence to be considered who have committed crimes against the abuser, it also denotes specifically psychological abuse as well, which seems to be left out of many legislation about domestic violence oftentimes.
Let us know your thoughts on the DV Survivors Justice Act.
(You may need to double click on the link below to see the actual memo sent to us.) Thanks!