Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Annie Dookhan: Massachusetts; Judge says she would impose a maximum five years sentence on her guilty plea. Associated Press;

STORY: "Judge: 5 years max for Mass. chemist Annie Dookhan if she pleads," by reporter Steve LeBlanc, published by Associated Press on October 23, 2013.

GIST:  "Annie Dookhan faces a long list of criminal charges, including tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and perjury for allegedly faking test results at a state lab shut down in August 2012 after a state police investigation. Prosecutors are seeking up to seven years if Dookhan pleads guilty. Dookhan's lawyer has asked for leniency, saying his 35-year-old client is terrified of going to jail and leaving her son, who has health issues. Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to 27 criminal charges. Superior Court Judge Carol Ball said that while sentencing guidelines recommend one to three years, the magnitude of the harm done by Dookhan dictates a harsher sentence. Ball said she would also impose two years of probation if Dookhan pleads guilty. Ball said that Dookhan, of Franklin, appears to be a "tragic and broken person" undone by her own ambition who should have foreseen the catastrophic consequences of her behavior. "Innocent persons were incarcerated, guilty persons have been released to further endanger the public, millions and millions of public dollars are being expended to deal with the chaos Ms. Dookhan created, and the integrity of the criminal justice system has been shaken to the core," Ball wrote.........Prosecutors said the fallout from Dookhan's alleged actions has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars to assess the scope of the tainted evidence and mitigate the effect on thousands of people charged with drug offenses during the nine years Dookhan worked at the lab. State officials have estimated that Dookhan tested samples involving more than 40,000 defendants. Dookhan told state police she engaged in "dry labbing," when she would assemble a large collection of samples from different cases, test only a few, but label all of the samples as positive for illegal drugs. Prosecutors said Dookhan's alleged actions have led to a public mistrust in the criminal justice system by harming the role of government witnesses and undermining the integrity of evidence."

The entire story can be  found at:


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