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New law limits media access to autopsies

Autopsy reports on slain children can be sealed from the media under one of 102 bills approved Monday by Gov. Schwarzenegger that also included harsher penalties for anyone hurting a child younger than 8, a ban on selling electronic cigarettes to minors and longer license revocations for repeat drunk drivers.

SB 5 by Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) allows autopsy reports to be sealed at the request of the victim’s parents and was in response to media requests for documents in the cases of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, two San Diego County teenagers raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender.

Schwarzenegger also signed AB 1280 by Assemblyman Mike Villines (R-Clovis), which creates harsher penalties for anyone who causes physical harm to a child younger than 8 resulting in permanent injury or disability.

Anyone convicted of three or more drunk-driving incidents in a 10-year period could have their license revoked for up to 10 years under AB 1601 by Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). And the governor also signed a measure making it an infraction to sell or furnish electronic cigarettes to people younger than 18. SB 882 is by Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro).

Schwarzenegger vetoed 37 bills Monday, including one that would have required fur-clothing manufacturers to attach conspicuous labels naming the kind of animal used for each garment. The governor said AB 1656 by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) would increase costs for clothes makers, and the $1,000 fee for failing to include the label was too steep.

-- Patrick McGreevy and Jack Dolan

 
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