On April 19, 2017, The Innocence Project reports:
“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, Dookhan 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.”
The Massachusetts judiciary system does not have capacity to hear and rule on appeals to each individual case that Dookhan handled. The Massachusetts Supreme Court therefore, ordered prosecutors to dismiss the cases in bulk.
According to Aljazeera, an investigation in 2013 found that Dookhan falsified test results as far back as 2004. Prosecutors said Dookhan admitted “dry labbing,” or testing only a fraction of a batch of samples, then listing them all as positive for illegal drugs. Dookhan was sentenced to three years in prison and was paroled last year. Read the rest of this entry
40,000 individuals had their fate decided by Annie Dookhan’s tampering with lab tests.
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Annie Dookhan, a Massachusetts state chemist pled guilty Friday to fabricating her results that lead to her tainting as many as 40,000 prosecutions that she was involved in.
Dookhan declared drug samples positive that she had not bothered to test, tampered with evidence, forged signatures and lied about her credentials to enhance her standing in court as an expert witness.
It took more than a year-and-a-half for Dookhan to admit that she had fabricated case results and since then 300 people have falsely been released, including Donta Hood, who was accused of murdering someone after the chemist’s tainted evidence got him released. Hood is now back behind bars on first-degree murder charges.
At least 50 of those 300 released have been rearrested. One, Jamell Spurill told the police arresting him, “I just got out thanks to Annie Dookhan. I love that lady.”
Dookhan was sentenced to…
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