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A WBUR SPECIAL REPORT

BadChemistry

Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

Drug Lab Closures Create Testing Backlog

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WORCESTER, Mass. — State public safety officials say the backlog of drug evidence testing caused by a shutdown of two state labs will take more than two years to erase.

The officials told the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday that the backlog will take time to erase even with a major staff expansion, and it is growing by about 1,000 cases each month while the state works to develop new lab capacity.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that about two dozen senators and state representatives attended the hearing at Worcester State University.

A lab in Boston was closed last year after a chemist was accused of falsifying results. An Amherst lab was closed this year after a worker was charged with stealing drugs.

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October 23, 2014

SJC To Hear Petition To Dismiss Convictions Tied To Dookhan

BOSTON — The ACLU is asking the state’s highest court to dismiss tens of thousands of criminal convictions tied to former state chemist Annie Dookhan, who admitted to tampering with evidence.

March 5, 2014

SJC Sets ‘Presumption’ Of Misconduct In Dookhan-Related Guilty Pleas

BOSTON — The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday that defendants seeking to withdraw guilty pleas because their cases were handled by disgraced former state chemist Annie Dookhan must indicate they would have insisted on a trial if they knew about her malfeasance.

March 4, 2014

Dookhan Was Drug Lab’s ‘Sole Bad Actor,’ Report Says

BOSTON — “However … deficiencies at the Drug Lab created an atmosphere that allowed for [Annie] Dookhan to commit her crimes,” the state inspector general wrote in his review.