Mass. chemist gets 3-to-5 years in drug lab scandal
A chemist at a Massachusetts drug lab who admitted faking test results in criminal cases pleaded guilty Friday to obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence in a scandal that has jeopardized thousands of convictions."Jeopardized thousands of convictions"? Excuse me? How about the dozens or possibly hundreds of innocent people who were falsely convicted? Or does the stenographer assume the accused are all guilty?
Annie Dookhan entered guilty pleas to the charges Friday morning in Suffolk Superior Court. She was then sentenced to three-to-five years in prison and taken in away in handcuffs.
Dookhan sent the state's criminal justice system into a tailspin last year when state police shut down the state Department of Public Health lab she worked at after discovering the extent of her misconduct.
Prosecutors said Dookhan admitted "dry labbing," or testing only a fraction of a batch of samples, then listing them all as positive for illegal drugs, to "improve her productivity and burnish her reputation."
Since the lab closed in August 2012, at least 1,100 criminal cases have been dismissed or not prosecuted because of tainted evidence or other fallout from the lab's shutdown.Three to five years is nowhere near enough. Take the longest sentence of those convicted by her tainted "work", and double it. That might be a start.