MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION
An ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to vacating judgments based upon forensic DNA tests.
On behalf of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, we write to oppose Senate bill S 7867 and Assembly bill A 11123, which would amend the Criminal Procedure Law, in relation to vacating judgments based upon forensic DNA tests, and urge that it not be enacted by the Legislature.
This proposal will allow significant numbers of defendants who already stood in court and swore that they were guilty to drain law enforcement and tax dollars by seeking DNA testing without making any showing that a DNA test could prove their innocence. Victims will not have closure if cases can be reopened after a guilty plea years after the case was supposedly over. Current law already allows defendants to seek DNA testing before they plead guilty, and, of course, after a conviction at trial.
The proposal would effectively alter the meaning of an admission of guilt in open court. It could also have the unintended consequence of encouraging guilty defendants to game the criminal justice system by securing the benefits of a plea and then, when there is nothing to lose, insisting on DNA testing. Significantly, it would require law enforcement to preserve, store and maintain every shred of physical evidence in every case for all time at great expense.
Since this bill would create a great financial burden on taxpayers and impose an undue workload upon law enforcement as well as others who work in the justice system, we strongly urge that it not be enacted into law.
New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.