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Making the Case for an All-Crimes DNA Database: Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, has this opinion piece about authorizing the collection of DNA following convictions for all crimes, including some presently excluded misdemeanors in New York state. Since New York's state DNA databank opened in 1996, the bank's DNA samples have been linked to more than 3,500 sexual assaults, 860 murders, 1,100 robberies, and 3,400 burglaries. Vance says the current restrictions mean the DA's office can't use DNA technology in more than half of their cases. He points out that while a DNA match is not proof positive of guilt, DNA technology is more reliable than eyewitness accounts, testimony, and confessions, and is truly colorblind.

California Counties Change Bail Policies: Marisa Lagos of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that as a result of prison realignment, some counties in California are being forced to change their policies regarding pretrial detainees and are having judges keep those awaiting trial in jail based not solely on whether they can afford bail, but on their risk to pubic safety. Pretrial risk assessments conducted by law enforcement authorities to gauge a person's likelihood of committing another crime if they are released are used to help judges decide whether a person should stay in jail while awaiting trial. If they waive their right to a speedy trial, which most offenders do, they could be free for months or sometimes more than a year while waiting for their trial to begin. CJLF's Michael Rushford said, "Risk assessments are guesses. You are guessing someone won't do something, and when you make a mistake, people get hurt. You will have people in morgues that are the result of those guesses."

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