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February 19th, 2007

DNA Database Expansion

gel.jpg Because of recent legislation allowing for the expansion of DNA collecting, I thought I would compare how much bigger New York’s DNA database has grown since I wrote my book.

As of August 2004, there were 139,344 DNA profiles in the New York State collection, and the number of hits they got from them was 1,529. As of February 2007 they have 179,965 profiles, with 3,772 hits. Most of those hits are for sex crimes, by the way. When I wrote my book 7% of the hits were murder cases and 72% were for sex crimes.

Looking at those current totals now, I’d have to go back to my notes to see if the total I used in my book was the total number of profiles or the total number of samples they had in their possession, which would include both samples not yet analyzed and profiles. Because the grand total now would be 229,203 and that figure seems to make more sense in terms of tracking growth. Otherwise the database has grown about 40,000 samples in two years. Which actually makes sense. Analyzing 20,000 DNA profiles a years sounds like a lot. So maybe the figure I used was the total number of profiles and not the grand total of samples. (I’m sure everyone’s eyes are blurring over by now.)

At the national level, there were 1,945,163 profiles when I wrote my book, and as of Decenber 2006, there were 4,138,015.

There’s a ton of statistics about DNA collection online. I started to look around and frankly, got overwhelmed. But if you wanted to do a study of just how many DNA profiles were out there, and how many crimes and what kind were being solved, you could do a good job of it.

You could start with CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). But from there, it seems almost every law enforcement agency, attorney general, ie, here’s California’s, and on and on, has facts about what they are collecting (it’s great!).

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