Massachusetts to Throw Out 21,000 Drug Convictions After State Chemist Tampers With Evidence
In what may be the single largest dismissal of wrongful convictions in U.S. history, Massachusetts prosecutors announced Tuesday they would throw out 21,587 criminal drug cases. The cases were all prosecuted based on evidence or testimony supplied by a former state chemist who admitted to faking tests and identifying evidence as illegal narcotics without even testing it. The chemist, Annie Dookhan, pleaded guilty in 2013 to tampering with evidence during her nine years working at a state crime lab in Boston. During that time, thousands of people were convicted based on her false statements. For more, we speak with Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts; Mallory Hanora of the group Families for Justice as Healing; and Timothy Taylor, who was arrested in 2009 and served five years in prison on a drug trafficking charge after Annie Dookhan handled evidence in his case.