FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, former state chemist Annie Dookhan sits in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Dookhan pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests in criminal drug cases, calling into question evidence used to prosecute the defendants. The state's highest court ordered the district attorneys in Massachusetts to produce lists by Tuesday, April 18, 2017, indicating how many of the approximately 24,000 tainted cases they would not or could not prosecute if new trials were ordered. (David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via AP, Pool, File)

Prosecutors likely to toss thousands of tainted drug cases

April 18, 2017 - 2:16 pm

BOSTON (AP) — District attorneys in Massachusetts are moving for the dismissal of thousands of drug cases tainted by the misconduct of a former state drug lab chemist.

The state's highest court ordered the prosecutors to produce lists by the end of day Tuesday indicating how many of the approximately 24,000 affected cases they would not or could not prosecute if new trials were ordered. Those cases would be dismissed.

Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty in 2013 to charges of tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests in criminal drug cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts estimates about 20,000 cases will be thrown out, which the group says would make it the single largest mass dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history.

Dookhan served three years in prison.

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