The saga of the Massachusetts drug-testing scandal lives on. While we have written about this topic several times (first here, then here, and, most recently, here), an April 5, 2018 ruling ordered the dismissal of 7,690 drug cases that were tainted by former forensic chemist Sonja Farak. This decision is only the latest development in a long and winding narrative that still awaits further decisions.
A Quick Look Back
As you may remember, two unrelated drug evidence testers, Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak, have been under fire for tampering with state evidence in their respective positions. Dookhan admitted to faking positive drug samples in order to increase the number of convictions made over the course of her nine-year career. In 2013, Farak was arrested in Amherst and pled guilty to stealing drugs from the lab, when she was supposed to be testing them.
Addressing the Aftermath
Since thousands of cases have been tainted by the reckless and fraudulent actions of Farak and Dookhan, While several districts have slowly moved to dismiss them, the recent ruling throws out a significant number of cases. In early April, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Frank Gaziano ordered the dismissal of 7,690 cases tainted by Farak. He also signed the June 2017 order that dismissed over 22,000 convictions that were tainted by Dookhan.
Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, said in a statement, “Today is a victory for justice and fairness.” Massachusetts public defenders and the ACLU continue to seek the dismissal of every drug case processed during the time Farak was employed by the Amherst drug lab.
Skilled Attorney Here to Help
As this scandal continues to unfold, we will keep you updated. In the meantime, if you or a loved one is drug-related criminal charges, Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law is here to give you guidance. Contact our Amherst office today at (413) 256-6234 to speak with a trusted and savvy criminal defense attorney.