Past Offenders Show Up to Provide DNA Samples

11:35 AM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY-An unusual drop-in collection process wrapped up Saturday at Erie Community College; offenders convicted of crimes turned up to provide a sample of their DNA.

Over 100 people came in voluntarily to have the samples taken by investigators and technicians from the Erie County District Attorney's office and the Sheriff's Department and those samples will be sent on to the state's DNA databank.

About 1,300 letters went out to uch offenders in Erie County to warn they must be in compliance with the law. This effort contacts individuals who may have fallen through the cracks of the legal system.

"They should have submitted their sample in the last year when we tightened up the reins a little bit," said John Cleary with the Erie County DA's office. "The New York State court officers are now, once you get convicted of a crime in the court, the court officers will take their DNA sample and submit it to the DNA databank. The law came into effect like January 2012 and no one was really enforcing it."

Those who do not comply may face a court order to do so. The county ran a similar program last year. The database is used to determine if past offenders can be linked to crimes.

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