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Ruling says Ariz. DNA law doesn’t require payments

A state court ruling says the Arizona law requiring DNA testing of convicted felons doesn’t permit authorities to make the convicted person pay for the testing.

The ruling by a state Court of Appeals panel overturns a Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s order that a man convicted of drug charges pay for required DNA testing.

The ruling says the lack of a specific provision in the law requiring a convicted person to pay for the testing presumably indicates that legislators did not want to impose that requirement.

The ruling notes that some states have laws authorizing a court or state agency to impose a DNA testing surcharge on convicted felons.

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  1. Unfortunately, this ruling will affect only the Plaintiff who filed this lawsuit, and only because he or she was willing to pay more to litigate the issue than will be refunded for the DNA test that the convicted person paid for. The ruling has no retroactive applicability and will only affect those who are ordered to provide DNA sample testing in the future. Furthermore, we can be sure that legislators will correct this “problem” at the first available opportunity by writing and passing legislation which will legally impose a fee to an offender for DNA testing. Meanwhile, for anyone else who wants to recover an already-paid, but illegally imposed fee, they will have to incur court filing fees, process serving fees and other court costs in the hundreds of dollars. This is a pyrhic victory at best.

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