BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s top prosecutor is asking the highest court in Massachusetts to vacate the pleas of 64 people who pleaded guilty to narcotics charges before the state’s scandal-plagued drug laboratory was able to test the substances.
The tests later showed the substances were not illegal drugs, according to a statement Monday from the office of Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins.
Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak, drug chemists at the Hinton Lab in Boston from 2003 until 2012 were convicted of tampering with evidence, leading to the dismissal of tens of thousands of drug charges across the state.
“While the cases related to this motion to vacate were not specifically impacted Dookhan’s and Farak’s misconduct, reparations are needed,” the statement said.
“In these specific cases, 64 defendants engaged in the calculus of plea bargaining without knowledge of evidence of their innocence or the gross misconduct in the Hinton Lab. Justice for them is required,” the statement said.
They have suffered the consequences of having a criminal record even after their release, the DA said.
If the Supreme Judicial Court vacates the pleas, the district attorney’s office will move to dismiss the cases and even have the defendants’ records expunged.
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