Monday, August 2, 2010

Chicago Criminal attorney comments on paying today for evidence to be used against the future

This Chicago Criminal attorney has posted here and here about DNA evidence.

She admits to thinking it’s a bit rich for the government to charge the defendant for the evidence they used against the defendant.  Right now, that’s okay in Illinois according to People of the State of Illinois v. Earle Lee Marshall, No. 3—08—025.

From  People v. Marshall:
Section 5--4--3 of the Unified Code (730 ILCS 5/5--4--3 (West 2008)) states that any person convicted of a qualifying offense is required to submit specimens of blood, saliva, or tissue to the Illinois State Police and "in addition to any other disposition, penalty, or fine imposed, shall pay an analysis fee of $200." 730 ILCS 5/5--4--3(j) (West 2008). Defendant does not dispute that first degree murder is a qualifying offense as contemplated by section 5--4--3 of the Unified Code. 730 ILCS 5/5--4--3(a)(1)(West 2008).  Moreover, defendant acknowledges that subsection (j) uses mandatory language in noting that a defendant "shall" pay the fee. Defendant notes that in "light of these statutory requirements, it is understandable that the circuit court would think to order Marshall to submit a DNA specimen and pay the $200 analysis fee."
Nevertheless, defendant submits the court was without authority to order the fee, as doing so after defendant's DNA was already on file is outside the intent of the statute and would "serve no purpose." We disagree.
The legislature chose the phrase "shall pay an analysis fee of $200" without consideration as to whether or not an offender's DNA was already on file. 730 ILCS 5/5--4--3(j)(West 2008).  Considering this language and the fact that the legislature put in place a process to expunge DNA from the database, we cannot agree with defendant's reading of the statute that a court lacks the authority to order a defendant to give DNA and pay the $200 analysis fee more than once.
So you do pay for the submission of evidence to be used against you by the government.  Does that strike you as something to be proud of as an American?

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