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News Scan

Washington Considers Collecting DNA Upon Arrest: Gene Johnson of the Associated Press reports Washington state's Legislature is considering requiring people to give DNA samples when they are arrested for serious crimes, instead of waiting until there is a conviction. Under bills in the Washington Legislature, DNA would be collected from people arrested for almost all felonies or for violating a domestic violence protection order. The State Patrol crime lab could test the DNA and enter the profile created in a nationwide database once a judicial officer declares the arrest supported by probable cause. If a person is not charged or exonerated, they could petition to have their sample and profile destroyed by the crime lab. The crime lab could run a check on the profile first before destroying it.   

Arizona Inmates Sue Over Execution Protocol: Amanda Lee Meyers of the Associated Press reports three inmates on Arizona's death row filed a lawsuit in federal court in Arizona Monday against the governor, the state corrections director, and those who conduct executions. The inmates claim the state's new execution protocol violates their constitutional rights, and seek to have two of their upcoming executions delayed. The inmates suing are Robert Henry Moormann, Robert Charles Towery, and Pete Rogovich. Moormann is scheduled to be executed February 26 for killing and dismembering his adoptive mother while on a "compassionate" furlough from prison. Towery is scheduled to be executed March 8 for killing a man while robbing his home. Rogovich, whose executed has not be scheduled, was sentenced to death for a crime spree in which he robbed two business and killed four people.

Cop Killer Formally Sentenced to Death: Sam Cohen of FOX40 News reports Marco Topete was formally sentenced to death by a Yolo County judge Tuesday for killing a Yolo County sheriff's deputy in 2008. The judge also denied the defense's motion seeking a new trial. See previous posts about this case here and here.

Shootings by Sheriff's Deputies Already Surpass Previous Year's High: Kim Minugh of The Sacramento Bee reports Monday was the sixth time this year a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy has fired their gun during a confrontation with a suspect. With six officer-involved shootings just thirty-seven days into 2012, the Sheriff's Department has surpassed the total for 2011 - five - and has matched its average yearly total. Sheriff Scott Jones said he is most concerned that the spike in incidents suggests that "the streets and our community are becoming increasingly hostile and dangerous places for my officers to work."    

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