Supreme Judicial Court questions whether to provide a blanket dismissal to the 24,000 convictions in which Dookhan was involved

The arguments about legal “inconvenience” versus “tainted” forensic evidence versus “unsafe convictions” brings us to the real uncertainties about the definition of justice. Letting the DAs decide is incredibly wrong.

Forensics Forum

The Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts is grappling whether a blanket dismissal its warranted for all of the approximately 24,000 convictions in which former drug chemist Annie Dookhan was involved. Defense attorneys, joined by attorneys from the ACLU of Massachusetts, argued that remedies for potentially affected defendants have been slow and ineffective. Additionally, evaluating each of the 24,000 cases would require resources and legal assistance that is likely unavailable. Assistant district attorney Susanne M. O’Neil argued that the court should allow the cases to work their way through the appeals system, asserting that the court should not “just dismiss cases because it’s hard.” Further, she said that the district attorneys are willing to put in the work to sort through each of the cases. Prosecutors also argued that in some cases a defendant could still be convicted based on other evidence and therefore there should not be a dismissal of cases unless…

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About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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