Mass. high court asked to rule on drug lab scandal
BOSTON (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is asking
the state's highest court to get involved in a state drug lab scandal that
threatens to derail thousands of criminal cases.
The ACLU is asking the Supreme Judicial Court to find that all defendants
whose cases were handled by former state chemist Annie Dookhan have a
presumptive right to have their sentences put on hold while motions for new
trials are pending.
Dookhan is accused of faking test results and tampering with evidence.
The court is scheduled to hear two cases next month in which Essex County
prosecutors are asking the court to clarify whether special magistrates
appointed to handle Dookhan cases have the right to put a defendant's sentence
on hold and release him from jail before his motion for a new trial is decided.