D.A. touts DNA database in Newport

Orange County's district attorney touted the success of his office's DNA database during a Tuesday speech to members of the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce.

Tony Rackauckas told about 30 lunchtime diners gathered at the Five Crowns Restaurant that samples from 78,510 people are included in the local database.

Many district attorneys rely on state and federal databases, but Orange County created its own, he said, to help solve crime when traditional means of gathering information fall short.

"We've been getting amazing results," Rackauckas said. "Those are cases that would not be solved if we were not taking this DNA."

Using DNA technology, 14 murders or attempted murders, 29 rape or sex-crime cases, and 35 robberies have been solved, he said.

His office is also exploring the possibility of using partial DNA matches to crime scenes, Rackauckas said.

One person in attendance asked the district attorney his thoughts on gun control.

"There's a reduction in crime when more people are allowed to have guns," Rackauckas said, after cautioning that his personal thoughts on gun control don't matter because his office enforces the laws in place.

Some in attendance voiced concern about "realignment," a state program that sends non-violent, non-serious offenders to local county jails instead of to overcrowded prisons.

Rackauckas said the program could be responsible for rising property crime rates in some communities, but he said it is currently unclear whether criminals in the realignment program are responsible for the uptick.


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