DNA database

A new poll finds New Yorkers have mixed feelings about President Obama’s health care reform act, with a plurality saying they’d like to see the Supreme Court declare parts of the law unconstitutional.

A bill currently making its way through the legislature would require more people convicted of crimes to submit samples of their DNA to the state's DNA databank.

That means the cutting-edge forensic science could be used to solve more crimes.

The bill passed the State Senate in January, and Governor Cuomo has called on the Assembly to do the same. Even celebrities, like Law & Order SVU's Mariska Hargitay have voiced support for the legislation.

But people who work in the criminal justice system say TV crime dramas are increasingly influencing juries, and giving people the wrong ideas about how forensic science actually works.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

Three men who were wrongfully convicted of murder were in Albany Monday, pushing for changes to a bill that would expand New York's DNA databank.

Steven Barnes, Fernando Burmudez and Frank Sterling each spent close to 20 years in prison for murders they did not commit.

The men were joined by representatives from the Innocence Project and the New York State Bar Association. The group wants measures added to the bill that would protect the wrongfully accused.

Can New York labs handle more DNA?

Mar 2, 2012
Photo: Mike Melita / WMHT

There's a new effort in Albany to pass a bill that would bring about a major expansion to New York's DNA databank — the place where the state stores genetic material from convicted offenders.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that having more DNA can help solve more crimes.

But not everyone agrees the bill does enough to ensure justice.

In this week's show, Governor Cuomo has finally reached a deal over the contentious issue of teacher evaluations.

And New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli sits down with Casey Seiler to explain why he opposes the governor's new plan for state employee pensions.

We also take a trip down the Innovation Trail to examine a new bill to expand the state's DNA databank.