Police departments throughout the state can access an ever-expanding databank of DNA samples collected from felons to help solve open cases those criminals may have previously committed but were never charged with..The New York Civil Liberties Union has taken issue with the state Legislature’s attempts to collect DNA samples from people who have not yet been convicted of an offense. “DNA information from innocent people has no place in a criminal databank,” said NYCLU Central New York Chapter Director Barrie Gewanter. “The idea of collecting personal material from people who have not been convicted of a crime absolutely turns the presumptions of innocence on its head.” Gewanter said that collecting DNA from arrestees places a large amount of responsibility on arresting police officers. The state’s system for collecting DNA also would be strained by the flood of samples being processed. “It’s been well documented that there is the possibility of human error in the DNA collection process,” she said. “In New York state, there is no regulatory body that ensures the integrity of those collections.” Gewanter also questioned the use of DNA sampling’s role in solving crimes. “When the haystack becomes larger, that doesn’t necessarily mean the needle is easier to find,” she said. “It’s just the opposite.”