Mass. session for drug cases marred by confusion
Annie Dookhan, 34, of Franklin, Mass., stands during her arraignment Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, in Boston Municipal Court on two counts of obstruction of justice and pretending to hold a degree for a college or university. Dookhan's alleged mishandling of drug samples prompted the shutdown of a state drug lab in Boston in August and resulted in the resignation of three officials, including the state's public health commissioner. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Patrick Whittemore, Pool)
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks with reporters in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. Patrick says he expects criminal charges will be brought in an investigation of misconduct by a state lab chemist who admitted faking drug sample results, forging signatures and skipping proper procedures. Patrick said he shut down the drug lab soon after learning of admissions chemist Annie Dookhan made during an interview with state police at the end of August. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
BOSTON (AP) — Confusion has marred the first special court session to handle criminal cases being challenged because of the alleged mishandling of drug samples by a Massachusetts chemist.
The Friday session in Boston Municipal Court was set up to hear cases in which Annie Dookhan tested drug samples. Dookhan has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly skirting protocols and faking test results at a now-closed state drug lab.
Of the 18 cases heard Friday, only five involved samples tested or notarized by Dookhan. Two of those defendants were released, one on $500 bail and one without bail.
Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley says the list of defendants brought in for hearings was put together "hastily" by court officials and without input from prosecutors.