Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Annie Dookhan: Worcester Telegram & Gazette backs up Boston Bar Association's call for an independent audit process - to avoid more "unpleasant and expensive surprises." (I wouldn't have put it that way, but it works! HL);

EDITORIAL: "Extra set of eyes," published by the Telegram on February 12, 2014.

GIST: "The Boston Bar Association Monday called for an independent audit process to be added to the oversight of state drug labs, warning that an agency independent of the criminal prosecution apparatus is necessary in order to avoid a repeat of the scandal involving former lab worker Annie Dookhan, whose tampering with test results has invalidated thousands of convictions and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.  We concur with the BBA's recommendations, and urge Gov. Patrick and the Legislature to take all necessary steps, as soon as possible, to add truly independent oversight.
Massachusetts has made some progress since the full extent of Ms. Dookhan's misconduct was revealed. Unfortunately, the primary lesson learned from her crimes was just how woefully inadequate and lax oversight and safeguard procedures were at the labs handling highly sensitive evidence for thousands of criminal cases.   While we believe the vast majority of lawyers, prosecutors, police officers, technicians, and supervisors involved in handling evidence and analyzing the technical aspects of prosecutions are honest and hard-working, the Dookhan case offers all the evidence one needs that unpleasant and expensive surprises can occur.........In order to restore public confidence in crime lab procedures, another independent overseer is needed. Lawmakers and the governor should implement the BBA's recommendation."

The entire editorial can be found at:


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