October 15, 2012

Sentences put on hold over Mass. drug lab scandal

In the first of a series of special sessions to hear cases involving chemist Annie Dookhan. a judge sets bail for 10 convicts.

Denise Lavoie / The Associated Press

BOSTON — About 10 convicts can go free while their legal challenges are pending in the fallout from a Massachusetts drug lab scandal.

click image to enlarge

Annie Dookhan, center, leaves a Boston courthouse escorted by court officers and her lawyer. Dookhan is accused of faking drug results, forging signatures and mixing samples at a state police lab.

AP

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine McEvoy made the rulings Monday in a Boston courtroom during the first of a series of special sessions to hear cases involving chemist Annie Dookhan. McEvoy set bail for about 10 convicts after prosecutors agreed to put their sentences on hold.

Dookhan has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly skirting protocol and faking test results at the now-closed state drug lab. State police say she tested more than 60,000 drug samples involving 34,000 defendants during her nine years at the Boston lab.

Special court sessions have been set up statewide for judges to hear hundreds of legal challenges prompted by the scandal.

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