CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Corrupt Massachusetts lab analyst gets (significant? inadequate?) state prison term for misdeeds"

Doug Berman has this post at Sentencing Law & Policy. From the excerpted newspaper article:

By all accounts, the scandal at the Hinton laboratory in Jamaica Plain is the worst to hit the state’s criminal justice system in recent memory, and is still deepening. Officials have determined that Dookhan was involved in more than 40,000 cases at the lab from 2003-2012, possibly tainting the integrity of the evidence in those cases.

Defendants have asked that their convictions be tossed, or that they be released from prison as they seek new trials. Public safety officials feared their release would create a crime wave. So far, the state has spent $8.5 million reviewing the drug cases and holding special hearings for defendants, and officials have budgeted an additional $8.6 million, expecting the costs to increase.

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Unfortunately without transparency, regulation, and oversight corruption is inevitable in groups who have power over others in any setting--particularly when it comes to criminal justice. Groupthink becomes so called "noble corruption" where the usual rules, regulations, and ethics no longer apply. Transparency, oversight, regulation, and consequences are the only approach to prevent this from recurring. And it's not just rogue lab techs--it is a systemic problem. Complaints are ignored or tabled by the apologists and the obtuse. There should be zero tolerance for lab fraud yet it continues as SOP. See links below. Nothing has changed

Posted by: Warren Mullaney | Nov 24, 2013 9:00:42 PM

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