As we’re sure you remember, the Massachusetts state criminal justice system has been wracked with turmoil in the wake of a statewide drug-testing scandal. As we’ve written about before (and then again), thousands of cases are in limbo following the discovery of two separate lab testing workers employed by the state admitted to doing drugs on the job and falsifying reports. The state government now releases information stating it will dismiss over 6,000 cases tainted by these illegal and unethical practices. Let’s dive in.
A Criminal Recap
As noted previously, state officials estimate as many as 40,000 cases may have been tainted by evidence-testers Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak. Dookhan admitted to recording positive drug samples without actually testing them throughout her nine-year career in an overzealous effort to get drug suppliers and users off the streets. Simultaneously, Farak developed a severe drug addiction while working in the lab and consumed most of the drug evidence with which she was supplied instead of testing it.
Righting Past Wrongs
For months, we have wondered what will happen to those convicted due to evidence “processed” by these two dishonest state employees. Fortunately, several districts have chosen to dismiss a number of convictions for fear that each was wrongful. Of the approximately 6,000 convictions scheduled for dismissal, 3,940 cases came from Hampden District, 1,497 from the Northwestern District, 134 from Boston, and others. We hope that more will follow.
Providing Legal Support
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a drug crime in the last decade in Massachusetts, contact Thomas Whitney, Attorney at Law for guidance and help. We are based in Amherst and may be able to help you receive a conviction dismissal. Call us today at (413) 256-6234 to get started with a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney.