STORY: "Annie Dookhan pleads guilty in drug lab scandal," by reporters Milton Valencia and John R. Ellement, published by the Boston Globe on November 21, 2013.

GIST: "Annie Dookhan, the former state chemist whose mishandling of evidence in drug cases threw the state’s criminal justice system into turmoil, pleaded guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court and was sentenced to three to five years in prison. “You plead guilty here because you are guilty?” Judge Carol S. Ball said as she explained the rights Dookhan was giving up because of her guilty plea. “Yes, Your Honor,” Dookhan said meekly. Dookhan’s falsification of drug tests, in an attempt to look like a highly productive employee, prompted the release of hundreds of convicts, raised questions about thousands of cases, and forced the state to spend millions to address the problems.  Ball, who found that Dookhan had entered her plea “freely, willingly, and voluntarily,” also sentenced Dookhan to two years of probation. Dookhan, in handcuffs, spoke briefly with her lawyer before she was escorted out of the courtroom.........The judge said in the ruling that “the consequences of her behavior, which she ought to have foreseen, have been nothing short of catastrophic: 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.”.........(Martin W) Healy (general counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association)  stressed, however, the fact that the criminal case against Dookhan has come to an end does not mean the drug lab scandal is also reached its conclusion. State Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha is still conducting an independent inquiry into the overall operation of the drug lab, Healy noted. “This is one chapter in a continuing saga,’’ Healy said. “The legal community and the general public still has a number of unanswered questions about what’s gone on here. How deep was the problem? Is it really just isolated to Dookhan or does it go beyond that?’’"