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Desperately Seeking DNA: D.A. Wants Review Of Collection Ban

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District Attorney Steve Cooley announced today that he sent a letter to CA Attorney General Kamala Harris urging her to seek a state Supreme Court review of the appellate ruling earlier this month that prohibits officials from collecting arrestee DNA samples, according to a news release.

Calling the state Court of Appeal decision “result-oriented,” Cooley said in a letter to Attorney General Kamala D. Harris that the ruling “cries out for an objective and well reasoned analysis by the High Court.”

Cooley was a supporter of Proposition 69, the “DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime and Innocence Protection Act”, that passed in 2004 requiring felony arrestees to provide samples of DNA. If not charged or if acquitted, arrestees could have their sample removed from the database.

“Justice Anthony Kline, who wrote the decision, went out of his way to condemn police, insinuating that they use the law to arrest people falsely to illegally obtain evidence,” the District Attorney said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
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Cooley, making an example of the Grim Sleeper case, said police do not need to make arrests to legally get a DNA sample, noting that detectives obtained Lonnie Franklin Jr.'s DNA evidence from a piece of pizza he threw away at a restaurant.

“This ruling does a disservice to the victims and survivors of crimes including rape and murder,” Cooley said. “The current law is just and contains adequate safeguards to prevent abuse of an individual’s rights.