Legal Aid Society


LAS Calls for Transparency of City DNA Database

The Legal Aid Society called for more transparency of the City DNA Database, maintained by the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), reports The Appeal.

Earlier this year, The Legal Aid Society obtained a Freedom of Information Law disclosure which revealed that OCME maintains a local DNA index system of at least 82,473 forensic DNA profiles, or profiles created from evidence taken from a crime scene. This is an increase of over 18,000 profiles since the summer of 2017. LAS has continually called on the City Council to hold an oversight hearing on the database and its lack of transparency.

“The lack of transparency is stunning. We don’t know how many people in that database are people who are not convicted or even charged with crimes. It leaves communities, and the people impacted, without any way of having recourse for themselves,” said Terri Rosenblatt, Supervising Attorney of our  DNA Unit.