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Over 21,000 Drug Convictions To Be Vacated By Massachusetts Supreme Court

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.”

Annie Dookhan

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

Roseanne Barr Wins Lawsuit Against George Zimmerman’s Parents

2011 Summer TCA Tour - Day 1According to the Orlando Sentinel, Seminole Circuit Judge Melanie Chase didn’t elaborate on her ruling but said, “This court finds there is no disputed issue of material fact and that the defendant, Roseanne Barr, is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

Robert Sr. and Gladys Zimmerman, parents of George Zimmerman, sued Roseanne Barr for tweeting out the address to their home.  This happened while George Zimmerman was in hiding after killing unarmed 17-year old Trayvon Martin, and before George’s arrest.

Attorneys for Barr argued that she cannot be held culpable for republishing already publicly available information. To make the case, they showed pages from a phone book found in a library that contained the address.

Barr’s attorney,  David Fink, said that Barr sharing her opinion on social media did not meet the high threshold of intentionally inflicting emotional harm.  Read the rest of this entry

Zimmerman’s Suit Against NBC Dismissed

Congratulations to NBC and their attorneys.

This morning, Judge Nelson ruled that George Zimmerman is not entitled to any money from NBC.

USA Today reports that unless the ruling is reversed by an appeals court, Zimmerman’s suit is finished.

George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. He was not arrested until April 2012 and his trial began in June 2013. July 13, 2013 will mark one year since a jury of 6 women, consisting of 5 Whites and 1 Latina of Puerto Rican descent, found Zimmerman not guilty.

Zimmerman filed the lawsuit against NBC in December 2012. During his trial, he and NBC agreed to stay the hearings until after the verdict. Zimmerman’s basis for the lawsuit was accusing NBC of editing his non-emergency call to the police, making him appear racist. Read the rest of this entry

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