EUGENE, Ore. - For six days last month defense witnesses testified that Roger Smith Troen made a "choice of evils" when he participated in the October, 1986 theft of about 125 research animals from a University of Oregon psychology laboratory (see THE SCIENTIST December 14, p.1).

On the seventh day, Lane County Circuit Judge Edwin Allen said he would hear no more of it. The lengthy pretrial hearing failed to convince Allen that a seldom-used state law of evidence should apply to Troen's animal rights case. At a non-jury trial immediately after the ruling, Troen did not dispute the evidence presented by the prosecution and was found guilty of theft, burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. Troen, to be sentenced March 10, faces up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine on each count.

Research scientists around the country breathed a sigh of relief when Allen rejected Troen's...

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