UTICA, NY (AP) – Sen. Charles Schumer says he’s introducing legislation to expand the circumstances for law enforcement agencies to take DNA samples from people arrested for violent crimes.

The goal is to expand the DNA database to help solve open cases and reduce the rate of false convictions.

In New York, DNA samples can be taken from convicted felons. Those samples are put in a national database and checked against DNA taken from crime scenes of outstanding cases.

The legislation Schumer promoted Thursday in Utica would allow DNA to be taken from people arrested for felonies.

The New York Civil Liberties Union opposes the collection of DNA samples from people who have not yet been convicted. Civil liberties groups say that would mean DNA from innocent people could end up in a criminal databank.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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