May 12, 2010

Crime Solving Legislation Passes Assembly

Measures Expand DNA Databank, Require Microstamping Technology for Semiautomatic Pistols

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Codes Committee Chair Joseph Lentol announced today the passage of legislation that will help law enforcement solve crimes by expanding the DNA databank and requiring microstamping technology on semiautomatic pistols.

"These common sense measures will help protect New Yorkers by vastly increasing information available to law enforcement as it conducts criminal investigations by giving it the tools to forge meaningful links between evidence and crimes," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "I applaud my colleagues in the Assembly Majority for recognizing the importance of this package of legislation. By expanding the DNA database and requiring microstamping on semi-automatic weapons, we can help keep our neighborhoods safe."

"The Assembly has passed legislation today that will take important steps towards protecting innocent individuals from wrongful convictions. It also broadens the DNA database by including all those convicted of violating any crime in the penal law," said Lentol (D-Brooklyn). "In the many years I have spent working on these important measures to prevent wrongful conviction and to help the innocent get out of prison after being wrongfully convicted, I have often been accused of being soft on crime, for trying to help the innocent. Well I say we are being tough on crime, because as long as an innocent man or woman rots in prison, the guilty man is free to walk the streets committing more crimes. The goal, after all, of our criminal justice system is to protect the rights of the innocent and protect society by ensuring that only those who have committed crimes are brought before the bar of justice. The proposals included in today's package are a solid step toward better protecting law-abiding, responsible New Yorkers."

One measure would require semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to a licensed dealer in this state to be capable of microstamping ammunition (A.6468C/Schimel). The bill would ensure that when a gun is fired, information identifying the make, model and serial number of the gun is stamped onto the cartridge. Police investigating crimes would be able to link firearms to those crimes by looking at cartridge cases found at crime scenes.

The Assembly also passed legislation which would protect innocent people from being wrongfully convicted while expanding the state's criminal DNA database (A.6528/Lentol). Specifically, this broad-based, sensible measure would: The legislative package also includes a bill that would mandate that the Division of Criminal Justice Services report annually on handgun transactions and pistol licenses issued in New York State (A.10894/Kavanagh). These statistics, compiled on a county and New York City-wide level without identifying any single gun owner, will be helpful in informing policy decisions on whether any further gun legislation might be needed and whether the current system of licensing is operating as the law intends.