Additional tainted drug tests tossed by Mass. high court
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.