Massachusetts

The Latest: Prosecutors toss thousands of tainted drug cases

The Latest on the dismissal of thousands of drug cases in Massachusetts because of misconduct by a former state drug lab chemist (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Prosecutors in Massachusetts are moving to dismiss thousands of drug convictions tainted by a former state drug lab chemist who pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and falsifying tests.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said Tuesday his office has notified the state's highest court that it will seek dismissal of all but 117 of approximately 7,500 affected cases in the district, which includes Boston.

Conley says many of the defendants in those cases have "significant criminal histories."

Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and tampering with evidence and was sentenced to three years in prison.

The state Supreme Judicial Court had ordered district attorneys in eastern Massachusetts to produce lists by the end of the day on Tuesday indicating how many of the approximately 24,000 affected cases involving Dookhan they would be unwilling or unable to prosecute if new trials were ordered.

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2:17 p.m.

District attorneys in Massachusetts are moving for the dismissal of thousands of drug cases tainted by the misconduct of a former state drug lab chemist.

The state's highest court ordered the prosecutors to produce lists by the end of day Tuesday indicating how many of the approximately 24,000 affected cases they would not or could not prosecute if new trials were ordered. Those cases would be dismissed.

Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to charges of tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests in criminal drug cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts estimates about 20,000 cases will be thrown out, which the group says would make it the single largest mass dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

Dookhan served three years in prison.

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12:39 a.m.

District attorneys in Massachusetts are facing a key deadline as they continue to deal with the damage caused by the misconduct of a former state drug lab chemist.

The state's highest court ordered the DAs to produce lists by Tuesday indicating how many of the approximately 24,000 tainted cases they would not or could not prosecute if new trials were ordered. Those cases would be dismissed.

Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests in criminal drug cases, calling into question evidence used to prosecute the defendants.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts estimates some 20,000 cases will be thrown out, which the group says could make it the largest mass dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

Dookhan served three years in prison.