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Rollins Moves To Dismiss Dozens More Dookhan-Related Drug Convictions

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced Tuesday her office will take steps to vacate dozens more drug convictions that were based on evidence tested by former state chemist Annie Dookhan.

It's the third group of convictions related to the Dookhan drug lab scandal that Rollins' office has sought to vacate.

The so-called "list three" cases involve 108 criminal cases that were not part of the 2017 Supreme Judicial Court ruling that dismissed thousands of cases where Dookhan tested the drug evidence. The cases were those that prosecutors could re-try if they could produce evidence of drugs that did not rely on Dookhan's testing.

“All List Three cases are forever tainted by egregious and reprehensible government misconduct — even if fresh convictions were to be obtained without Dookhan’s involvement," Rollins said in a statement. “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.”

Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to falsifying thousands of drug tests done at the Boston-based Hinton drug lab. The State Supreme Judicial Court dismissed tens of thousands of criminal cases because of her misconduct.

Rollins filed other motions to vacate cases not covered by the SJC rulings. In May, she asked that 64 guilty pleas be vacated because the pleas were rendered before the drug testing was completed. Legal action on that request is pending.

Rollins said once sentences are vacated, her office will work with the defense bar to  remedy the criminal records of individual defendants.

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Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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