State officials closed state drug laboratory in Jamaica Plain on the Thursday amidst allegations that there have been more the improprieties at the lab. Recently it has been revealed that a chemist had broken the lab’s protocol in handling the evidence. The chemist whose name has not been released has been involved in thousands of tests involving thousands of people. The Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police expressed that because of the chemist actions there may be people that have been wrongfully convicted of drug crimes. “Our concern is about any miscarriage of justice that’s out there.” Governor Patrick ordered the laboratory closed as the chemist investigation continues.
According to the state police there were discrepancies on about 90 drug samples from the chemist in question. More information has been uncovered in recent days to cause the investigators to believe the mistakes were more in nature and all focused on one chemist that the Massachusetts State Police are investigating for possible criminal conduct.
In Massachusetts in order to get a conviction for a drug crime the prosecutor must prove that the substance was in fact an illegal drug. To prove it is an illegal drug the prosecutor relies on the ruling from the state’s drug laboratory. Until recently, all prosecutors needed were a drug laboratory certificate to prove the substance. Due to recent changes there must now be live testimony. Now, it is clear that people may have been wrongly convicted because of this chemist.
All Massachusetts district attorneys issued a statement, “We, as District Attorneys, will take the appropriate action necessary to ensure that justice is done. We have notified our counterparts in the Public Defender community to let them know that they will be provided the list of cases as soon as we obtain it,” the statement said.
The State lab provides analysis for cases in Norfolk, Suffolk, Bristol, Cape Cod, Middlesex and Essex counties. Analysis of drugs is now being done in another the State Police lab in Sudbury.
If you or someone you know has been convicted of a recent drug crime call Attorney Patrick Donovan today. If there is a wrongful conviction will fight it. Attorney Donovan is a criminal defense attorney that handles all types of drug cases in Massachusetts.