On April 18, in the largest simultaneous dismissal of cases in U.S. history, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court dismissed more than 21,000 low-level drug cases connected to the drug lab scandal that involved Annie Dookhan, a former chemist of a Massachusetts crime lab who admitted to falsifying evidence. After an investigation into Annie Dookhan and her work at the Hinton State Laboratory Institute, Dookhan admitted to altering and faking test results over a period of eight years.
On the latest episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we look at the drug lab scandal in Massachusetts; its impact on drug cases, attorneys and defendants; and the implications for drug labs elsewhere in the United States. To help us do this, we have two guests:
- Carl Williams, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Massachusetts and former criminal defense attorney. Williams was part of the ACLU team that represented thousands of petitioners who sought relief from convictions based on the Dookhan scandal.
- Sandra Guerra Thompson, director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Houston Law Center. In 2015, Sandra wrote the book, “Cops in Lab Coats: Curbing Wrongful Convictions with Independent Forensic Laboratories.”