Friday, December 1, 2017

Annie Dookhan: Sonja Farak: Massachusetts lab scandals took weighty toll: "DAs to dump 7,500 more drug convictions; cases tied to second chemist scandal," reports The Boston Herald."..."An estimated 7,500 drug convictions based on testing conducted by disgraced state chemist Sonja Farak will be dismissed, prosecutors said, acknowledging the widespread toll from the latest evidence scandal to rock the criminal justice system. District attorneys across the state told the Supreme Judicial Court yesterday they would dismiss cases that Farak signed off on while working as a chemist at the state’s drug lab in Amherst, where she stole from drug samples and seized evidence for nearly a decade prior to her 2013 arrest."..." The Farak damage toll comes months after an April court order tossed 21,839 cases connected to another evidence-tampering scandal involving ex-chemist Annie Dookhan. Both cases unfolded against the backdrop of scandals involving police evidence rooms and lawsuits filed against the state’s drunken driving testing system that have put tens of thousands of other cases in jeopardy. “It turns out, for thousands of people, the system that sent them to jail or put them on probation was rotten to the core,” Gioia said. Convictions tied to Farak in all 11 DAs’ District Attorneys) offices will be dropped."