Details here. Summary: New York becomes the first “all crimes” state, where DNA will be collected for felonies and misdemeanors. Cuomo unfortunately got his way in keeping innocence reforms–such as recorded interrogations and eyewitness identification–OUT of the bill. The bill does have, however, a couple of bells and whistles helpful to innocent defendants:
• Expanded Access for Certain Criminal Defendants to DNA Testing: This legislation will allow defendants in certain criminal cases to obtain DNA testing prior to trial to demonstrate their innocence. Further, under appropriate circumstances defendants convicted after a guilty plea will be allowed access to such testing. Together, these reforms will help to ensure that innocent defendants are not convicted or, if convicted after a plea, are able to demonstrate their actual innocence.
• Expanded Access to Discovery for Certain Criminal Defendants After Trial: In limited circumstances, defendants will be able to seek discovery of property and other materials to demonstrate their actual innocence after their conviction. Such discovery will provide the court with the evidence necessary to reach a proper decision on a defendant’s motion for such relief.