Rolling Stone

Getting a Little Closer to Justice


LEGAL NEWS Four years ago, Paul Solataroff’s Rolling Stone feature “And Justice for None” [RS 1304/1305, January 2018] exposed grotesque misconduct by law enforcemen­t in the state of Massachuse­tts and helped lead to the exoneratio­n of more than 37,000 defendants who had been charged with drug infraction­s under questionab­le circumstan­ces. The story went on to spawn the hit Netflix docuseries How to Fix a Drug Scandal, featuring crusading lawyers Luke Ryan and

Dan Marx, who revealed corrupt practices in crime labs and in the district attorney’s office. On June 1, Ryan and and Marx won another victory, bringing in a sum of $14 million to repay thousands of victims for the fines and fees they’d been forced to pay into the system — after they got out of jail. “This settlement can never make our clients whole for the jobs they lost, the spouses who left them, and the children they lost touch with while in prison,” says Ryan. “And it’s not as much as we’d hoped for, or our clients deserved. But it is the first-ever class-action award for drug defendants. If nothing else, it sets a precedent for other states to follow.”

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