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What Happened At The Now-Closed State Crime Lab? 26:48

This article is more than 8 years old.

What really happened at the state crime lab in Boston and how far will the scandal reach?

Those questions may take months to answer fully, but here's what we know so far:

A chemist, Annie Dookhan, allegedly mishandled evidence in tens of thousands of cases. Among the stunning breach of protocol, Dookhan allegedly mixed samples from unrelated cases, manipulated drugs to increase their weight and altered samples so they would test as drugs when were not drugs.

The fallout? Dookhan is gone, the lab's senior chemist was fired while another top lab official quit. And now the state's Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach has resigned.

Meanwhile, state police are investigating a scandal the has compromised 34,000 criminal cases and shaken the public's confidence in a crucial piece of the criminal justice system.

Radio Boston spoke with two criminal justice experts about what went wrong and how to fix it.


  • David Boeri, senior reporter at WBUR
  • David Breen, professor at Boston University School of Law, former assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and former assistant district attorney for New York County
  • Stephen Saloom, policy director of the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization based in New York and dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals


This segment aired on September 19, 2012.

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