Sunday, February 23, 2014

Delaware Medical Examiner's Office: Annie Dookhan's name just happens to pop up as investigation reveals missing drug evidence; At least 15 cases flagged as having tainted or missing evidence; Public defender predicts this is "the tip of the iceberg." The News Journal; (Here we go yet again. HL);

STORY: "Drug scandal hits Medical Examiner's Office," by reporter Sean O'Sullivan, published by The News Journal on February 22, 2014.

GIST: "In a growing scandal, investigators have discovered drugs sent to the Delaware Medical Examiner's Office for testing between 2010 and 2012 have gone missing – sometimes replaced with fakes – imperiling more than a dozen drug prosecutions and possibly many more. "I don't think this is going to end soon. This is the tip of the iceberg," said Delaware Public Defender Brendan O'Neill. The problem was discovered by prosecutors earlier this month at trial during a Kent County drug prosecution, according to State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings. Since then she said the office has been moving quickly to investigate and notify the courts and defense attorneys. The full scope of the problem is not yet known and investigators have not yet identified a suspect. But at least 15 cases have been flagged by investigators as having tainted or missing evidence. Almost all the cases where drugs have gone missing involve Oxycontin tablets. In at least one case, the one that set off the investigation, a prosecutor at trial immediately recognized that pills in evidence that were supposed to be Oxycontin were in fact blood pressure medication. In other cases it appears the drugs were simply taken from evidence storage. At least one marijuana case is also involved.........The case has similarities to a scandal from 2012 in Boston where a former chemist with the state's Department of Public Health admitted to faking test results in at least 1,100 criminal cases. Prosecutors charged chemist Annie Dookhan only tested a fraction of the samples she was sent in order to "improve her productivity and burnish her reputation." So far in Delaware, however, it appears most of the problems are related to theft not falsification."

The entire story can be found at:


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