BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — State officials and attorneys are working around the clock to match 34,000 criminal cases with people who may be in jail because of a rogue chemist accused of mishandling drug evidence.
“At the risk of being overly cautious ...it’s been our priority to identify as many people as possible,” said David Meier, lead counsel of the so-called war room set up to sift through all the cases.
So far 1,141 people in jail have been identified. In addition, officials announced they’ve identified 335 more people who are awaiting trial, 144 people who are on parole and 319 juveniles – All who have cases potentially compromised by former state lab chemist, Annie Dookhan.
22 News asked Governor Deval Patrick how many people could have their cases dropped or overturned.
“There are 34,000 potential cases and you know I mean I suppose you could say that could be as many as that, but we’re going to do right by everybody, that’s the point,” said Patrick.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers say it could cost as much as $100 million dollars to re-examine all the cases potentially affected by Dookhan.
“The nice thing about the timing of the lab situation, to the extent there is any bright side to it, is it’s happened at the beginning of a fiscal year,” said Executive Office of Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez. “Through the ability we have to allot appropriations, [the Executive Office of Administration and Finance] can make additional funding that maybe otherwise wouldn’t have been spent until later in the fiscal year available now.”
On Monday, a special court room will be set up in Boston to reexamine each criminal case that may have been affected by the state crime lab scandal.
Copyright 2013 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Did you like this article? Vote it up or down! And don't forget to add your comments below!