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LAS Urges NYS Forensic Science Commission to Prohibit Controversial DNA Testing

The Legal Aid Society urged the New York State Commission of Forensic Science to prohibit the use of phenotyping, or the testing of forensic DNA for the purpose of determining physical attributes, and genetic genealogy, in response to an announcement by the Commission that two laboratories will be performing this testing in the State.

Last month, the controversial Virginia private laboratory Parabon, Inc. announced that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) had granted Parabon permission to perform a suite of DNA testing that the company calls “Snapshot.”  This technology includes phenotyping, according to the New York Daily News.

“Giving the NYPD unreliable race-based information to pursue crime suspects is only going to make the over-policing of Black and brown people in New York worse,” said Terri Rosenblatt, Supervising Attorney of the DNA Unit at The Legal Aid Society.