BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Boston’s top prosecutor has moved to throw out about 100 more convictions tainted by the misconduct of a former drug lab chemist, she said Tuesday. Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the cases are “forever tainted” by Annie Dookhan, who was convicted of tampering with evidence and sentenced to three years in prison.
Thousands of convictions across the state have already been tossed because of Dookhan’s actions. She was ordered to pay one wrongly convicted man $2 million.
Rollins’ office, which handles cases in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, said she has moved to vacate another 108 cases. Earlier this year she asked the state’s highest court to vacate the pleas of 64 people who pleaded guilty to narcotics charges.
“No defendant impacted by this ignominious chapter of Massachusetts law enforcement history should continue to bear the burden of Dookhan’s deceit, her sad and desperate need for attention, and the enormous amount of harm she inflicted upon so many,” Rollins said in an emailed statement.
With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting court operations, it doesn’t make sense to spend the resources on the cases, she said. Furthermore, the defendants face mandatory minimums that “make it infinitely easier to persuade and leverage defendants to plead guilty,” Rollins said.
A study commissioned by late Supreme Judicial Court Chief Ralph Gants this year found that Black and Latino defendants are more likely to get hit with charges that carry mandatory minimum prison time.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)