Senate Proposing Crime Lab Audit Law in Wake of Annie Dookhan Case

Dookhan admitted to contaminating evidence intentionally to rack up high lab results

The NBC Boston Investigators have exclusively learned the Massachusetts Senate is proposing a crime lab audit law to detect and prevent the mishandling of evidence in the state's crime lab.

The proposal comes in the wake of over 21,000 drug convictions being dismissed after former state chemist Annie Dookhan admitted in court to contaminating evidence intentionally.

However, the court's recent ruling comes too late for some who were sentenced, because they have already served their prison terms.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr writes, "The justice system was compromised because a so-called scientist with falsified credentials lied about her work for years. We all want to make certain those responsible for maintaining the integrity of the criminal evidence have proper oversight."

The bill would require the Inspector General and state auditor to audit lab work every three years beginning in September.

A 15-month investigation by the Inspector General found lax lab management failed to detect Dookhan's actions.

Dookhan was charged with tampering with evidence and falsifying drug evidence. She pleaded guilty to perjury and other charges in 2013 and served a three-year prison sentence.

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