- - Tuesday, July 13, 2010


DNA sample collection defended

SAN FRANCISCO | California Attorney General Jerry Brown is defending a law enforcement policy that allows police to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested on felony charges, regardless of the outcome of their cases.

Voters approved the policy in 2004.

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the practice as an unconstitutional search. The group on Tuesday asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the DNA collection while its lawsuit is pending.

Mr. Brown, who is running for governor, defended the DNA collection as akin to collecting fingerprints and mug shots of all arrestees.

He said the DNA samples have led to arrests of dangerous criminals.


Rip Torn applies for probation

LITCHFIELD | Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a felony burglary charge against actor Rip Torn, clearing the way for him to seek special probation that might settle charges that he broke into a bank while drunk and armed in January.

The Emmy-winning actor, 79, applied for accelerated rehabilitation, a program for first-time nonviolent offenders that allows charges to be dropped after a probation period.

Prosecutors will argue against the application at a hearing Aug. 11, Litchfield State’s Attorney David Shepack said. Mr. Torn spoke in court Tuesday to answer questions from the judge only.

Despite opposing the special probation request, Mr. Shepack said dropping the burglary charge was appropriate because nothing indicated Mr. Torn intended to burglarize the Salisbury bank when he broke in, thinking it was his own nearby home.

That felony burglary charge blocked Mr. Torn from requesting the special probation.


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