BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) Law enforcement sources tell FOX 25 that it may cost millions of dollars to go back over the cases handled by a chemist accused of mishandling tests at a state crime lab.
Officials say going back over the cases is the next step in the investigation. One official estimates the cost of identifying the cases that chemist Annie Dookhan worked on could reach several million dollars. The official adds that the legislature will likely be forced to allocate special funds to pay for the investigation.
Dookhan was a chemist at the Hinton Crime Lab in Jamaica Plain for nearly 10 years. She may have been involved in more than 34,000 drug prosecutions. Reviewing those cases will involve the search of both computerized and hard copy court records.
The Executive Office of Public Safety and area district attorneys will likely be responsible for finding all the cases Dookhan was involved in.
Several criminal defense lawyers tell FOX 25 they plan to go through their own files to get ahead of the anticipated rush on the court system.
The state will have to retest evidence if a defendant gets a new trial. However, there are many factors that go into determining how long evidence is kept. In most cases, evidence is kept between three and five years. Dookhan worked at the lab for nearly 10.