Annie Dookhan, Chemist At Center Of Mass. Drug Lab Scandal, Is Out Of Prison

Annie Dookhan, in late 2012 (Steven Senne/AP)
Annie Dookhan, in late 2012 (Steven Senne/AP)

A former drug lab chemist convicted of faking test results and tampering with evidence, leading to a review of tens of thousands of criminal cases, is out of prison.

Annie Doohkan has been paroled, a spokesman for the Massachusetts prisons system confirmed to the Boston Herald. Nicolas Gordon, the attorney who represented Dookhan during her criminal case, said she was released about a month ago.

Dookhan tampered with evidence while working as a testing chemist at a Boston lab operated by the Department of Public Health. She was sentenced to three to five years in prison in November 2013.

Gordon says Dookhan's focus has been on her family and she hasn't made any major decisions about her future.

But while Dookhan is now free, thousands of people are still in prison awaiting a chance to challenge convictions made on possibly tainted evidence, the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday in response to the news.

The civil rights group has sued to have local district attorneys turn over lists of possibly impacted cases by May 9. Prosecutors have previously estimated that there could be 20,000 such cases.

"It's a shame that most of the people cheated by the scandal at the Hinton Lab still have not been notified by the Commonwealth that they have the right to challenge their convictions," said ACLU of Massachusetts staff attorney Carl Williams. "We hope that, once the list of Dookhan's victims is completed in May, and notice is sent to them, the Commonwealth can begin to systematically redress these thousands of wrongs."

This article was originally published on April 12, 2016.


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