Statement from The Legal Aid Society on NYS Commission on Forensic Science Meeting

Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society, issued the following statement today responding to the New York State Commission on Forensic Science’s full body meeting discussing a statewide policy on familial DNA searching.

“The questions raised at today’s meeting on familial searching and civil rights, equal rights, privacy, due process, infallibility, and policing underline how inconclusive and troublesome the technique is. It disproportionately impacts communities of color, and other jurisdictions have outlawed its use because of all these concerns.

As the Commission and its DNA Subcommittee continue to deliberate on a statewide familial searching policy, we will continue to raise these issues on behalf of our clients and other communities who will be forever marginalized if it becomes law. Furthermore, we believe that this issue should be wholly taken up in the Legislature where it can be fully debated.”

The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers. It is dedicated to one simple but powerful belief: that no New Yorker should be denied access to justice because of poverty.