Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

At Hearing, Dookhan Asks For Leniency


Prosecutors are urging a judge to sentence a Massachusetts chemist to up to seven years in prison if she pleads guilty in a drug-testing lab scandal.

Annie Dookhan faces allegations including tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and perjury for alleging faking test results at a now-closed state lab.

She previously pleaded not guilty to 27 criminal charges.

Her lawyer, Nicholas Gordon, on Friday urged a judge to consider a one-year sentence if Dookhan changes her plea, saying the defendant’s life “has been destroyed” by the charges.

“She is a shell of her former self,” he said. “Before all this happened, she had a promising and well-paid career. She had a loving and loyal husband and had a stable and fulfilling family life. That’s all gone.”

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball says she’ll consider the recommendations and decide next week about what sentence she would likely give to Dookhan if she pleads guilty.

Dookhan cried as her lawyer pleaded for leniency, describing her love for her 7-year-old son.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom. This post was updated at 6 p.m.


Latest News

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.