Letters to the Editor

Support crime bill

This letter is in response to the article in the March 2 Tribune regarding Proposition 47.

Yes, it is very important to support AB 390 to help correct the unintended consequences resulting from this proposition being passed last November. Proposition 47 limits law enforcement to use DNA collected from criminals whose crimes are charged or reclassified as misdemeanors.

My husband and I spoke at the recent news conference introducing AB 390, as we have had personal experience regarding DNA collection and criminal activity. Our son John Riggins and his girlfriend, Sabrina Gonsalves, were murdered in 1980. In 1980, forensic DNA testing was not available as it is today. Four individuals were later arrested in 1989 for the crime. When a source of DNA was identified in 1992, it did not match any of these four persons and they were released. The crime became a cold case until 2002 when Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert tracked the source of DNA and it matched a criminal who was imprisoned in Washington for child molestation. This criminal was proven to be responsible for the brutal murders of John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves. He was tried and convicted in 2013.

Please contact our Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and urge him to support AB 390.