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Bar Association, Innocence Project tout DNA bank

ALBANY — The state Bar Association and leaders of the Innocence Project are pushing for expansion of New York’s DNA database.

They’re holding a news conference Monday afternoon in Albany, along with men cleared of crimes by DNA evidence.

Pending legislation repeatedly passed by the Democrat-run Assembly would expand DNA collection and increase database access. The bill also includes measures to prevent coerced confessions and witness errors.

The Republican-controlled Senate recently approved a different bill to expand DNA collection to lesser crimes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is advocating that bill.

Last year, both bills died with no negotiated compromise.

Lawyer Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project says any expansion of the database should come with better access for defendants.