2007_05_dnatesting.jpgGovernor Spitzer has proposed to expand NY State's DNA database by collecting samples from every convicted criminal, including those guilty of misdemeanors, like harassment or unauthorized use of a credit card. Spitzer also wants to streamline DNA collection in order for defendants to use it to clear their names.

Currently, the state collects DNA from half of its convicted criminals. Governor Pataki had attempted to create a state DNA database - which Spitzer supported - but the Democrat-led Assembly defeated it. Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver's spokesman tells the Times that the Democratic Assemby members had concerns over how the eveidence would be "cataloged and stored, handled and controlled and processed.”

There has also been civil liberties concerns over DNA collection. However, since Spitzer's proposal would, as the Times puts it, "to require that prosecutors notify the court if they learn that there may be DNA evidence that could exonerate a prisoner," some of the opposition may be more willing to come around.