Thursday, December 6, 2012

Annie Dookhan: Lab woes call for break from drug war script. Chris Ott. American Civil Liberties Union. (Boston Herald). Must Read. HL.

 STORY: "Lab woes call for break from drug war script,"by Chris Ott, published in the Boston Herald on December 4, 2012. (Christopher Ott is communications director for the ACLU of Massachusetts.)

GIST:  "It’s going to take fresh thinking to address the scandal at the state drug lab without making Massachusetts budget woes even worse. Unfortunately, however, most of what we’re seeing so far is the exact opposite: a business-as-usual approach, with an enormous (and growing) price tag. As soon as the state drug lab scandal broke, it became clear that the cost of reexamining thousands of cases would be huge. Early estimates caused sticker shock with numbers like $30 million or $50 million, to pay for courts, prosecutors, and public defenders to re-try thousands of cases based on tainted evidence. More recently, the Committee for Public Counsel Services has estimated that handling the scandal could cost as much as $332 million. Gov. Deval Patrick has questioned that figure, but would anyone really be surprised if costs keep creeping higher? There is never a good time for a fiasco like this, but now is particularly challenging for Massachusetts. Recent reports suggest state revenues are running $256 million behind budget. Make no mistake: This means that plans to dole out millions more to deal with the drug lab scandal are on a collision course with hard financial realities. We need a better solution, instead of simply doing things over the same way.........The drug lab scandal presents an unprecedented challenge for Massachusetts. For justice to be done and to avoid spending tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars at a time when the state budget is getting tighter, we should break with assumptions from the failed war on drugs and a one-size-fits-all solution."
The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.