Ad­di­tional tainted drug tests tossed by Mass. high court

Pawtucket Times - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

BOS­TON (AP) — Thou­sands of ad­di­tional drug cases tainted by a former chemist au­thor­i­ties say was high al­most ev­ery day she worked at a state drug lab for eight years must be dis­missed, Mas­sachusetts’ high­est court ruled Thurs­day.

The Supreme Ju­di­cial Court’s de­ci­sion is the lat­est twist in a saga that has al­ready re­sulted in the dis­missal of more than 11,000 con­vic­tions and exposed that two former state prose­cu­tors had with­held ev­i­dence about the scope of Sonja Farak’s mis­con­duct.

Cases that were tossed pre­vi­ously were those only in­volv­ing ev­i­dence tested by Farak.

The new order ap­plies to cases worked on by other chemists while Farak was em­ployed by the lab.

The state must dis­miss all con­vic­tions that were based on ev­i­dence at the Amherst lab be­tween Jan. 1, 2009, and when the lab closed on Jan. 18, 2013, the court said.

“We con­clude that Farak’s wide­spread ev­i­dence tam­per­ing has com­pro­mised the in­tegrity of thou­sands of drug con­vic­tions apart from those that the Com­mon­wealth has agreed should be va­cated and dis­missed,” the jus­tices said in their rul­ing.

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