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Old 04-20-2017, 10:12 AM
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Default Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to Vacate 21,587 Drug Conviction Cases

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to Vacate 21,587 Drug Conviction Cases

By Innocence Staff

This morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court announced that it will vacate 21,587 drug conviction cases. This is the largest dismissal of wrongful convictions in U.S. history. The decision was made in response to a massive drug-testing scandal involving Annie Dookhan—a former chemist for the Hinton State laboratory in Massachusetts—who, in 2013, was convicted of tampering with and fabricating drug tests in criminal cases.

During her more than eight-year tenure at the lab, Dookan handled approximately 40,000 cases. She admitted to tampering with at least two dozen cases and also fabricating test results, prompting widespread concern amongst many in the defense community that any of the tens of thousands of drug tests used as evidence in approximately 20,000 conviction cases were potentially inaccurate or falsified.


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Old 04-20-2017, 10:17 AM
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Wow. That's incredible and hugely disappointing. She didn't tamper with drug tests, she played with people's lives.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:42 AM
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It sounds like the FBI lab's false results troubles, except the courts in Massachusetts were more concerned about convicting their citizens based on perjured evidence than the federal courts were. Ever hear of "bite mark science?"
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:54 PM
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I enjoyed reading this article. I applaud the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for their ruling. Does anyone know if the dismissed cases will be automatically sealed?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:04 PM
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I'm glad these cases are being dismissed. The related link says she was going to plead guilty. I'll be interested to see what she gets sentenced to,
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:12 PM
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There have been two similar cases in Canada recently. One was a pathologist who consistently accused parents of killing their children and later admitted that he'd made a lot of it up. People went to jail, lost their kids - you can imagine the horrible fallout. He resigned but was not prosecuted.

Then, more recently, a lab at a Toronto hospital was found to have improperly done hair drug tests which also resulted in many people, mostly women, losing their children. That mess is still going on. There has been a judicial inquiry and now there will be lawsuits. Again, huge damage to innocent people.

What we should always remember is that 'the system' is always capable of faking evidence, and that there must be checks against the abuse of authority in every setting. Jails, since there is so little oversight, are one of the places most liable to abuse.
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