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Over 1,500 Drug Cases Dismissed Due to Former Chemist’s Meddling

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn - Taylor Cormier/Townsquare Media
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn – Taylor Cormier/Townsquare Media

NEW BEDFORD – Over 1,500 drug cases pending in district and superior courts are being dropped by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office as a direct result of a former state drug lab chemist’s tampering with evidence.

District attorneys across Massachusetts are submitting to the Supreme Judicial Court today the cases they would not or could not prosecute if new trials were ordered due to Annie Dookhan’s falsifying of key evidence from 2009 to 2011.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn tells WBSM News Dookhan’s meddling doesn’t mean every alleged offender in the cases was innocent. “But, obviously (Annie Dookhan’s) conduct has to be addressed. I think we’ve tried to balance fairness with maintaining the integrity of the system versus public safety because some of these people are repeat offenders who pose a danger to the community,” said Quinn.

Quinn says his office is moving to dismiss the more than 2,300 individual charges in those some-odd 1,500 cases.

About 24,000 cases statewide were adversely affected by Dookhan. Quinn says his office will work to continue to maintain convictions in 112 superior court cases where independent evidence was submitted.

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