US court moves to dismiss thousands of criminal cases involving evidence handled by Annie Dookhan

The highest court in Massachusetts has directed the dismissal of 21,587 criminal drug cases that were affected by the misconduct of chemist Annie Dookhan, who worked at a state lab. The cases slated to be thrown out are those that district attorneys in the seven Massachusetts counties had identified as appropriate for dismissal on account of Dookhan’s actions. She admitted to mixing evidence samples and falsifying results while working at the Hinton drug laboratory and was sentenced to three to five years in prison in November 2013. Dookhan was released from prison last April.

In response to the April 20 order, the ACLU of Massachusetts’ executive director, Carol Rose, issued a statement calling the court’s decision ‘a major victory for justice, fairness, and the tens of thousands of people who were wrongfully convicted based on fabricated evidence’.