Annie Dookhan, the former state chemist who created a multi million-dollar crisis in the criminal justice system that continues today, has been granted parole from her prison sentence.
Sadly the highlights of the issues she caused can be summed up by this statement,
In the years between 2003-2012, Dookhan was involved in tens of thousands of cases. In some cases, she did not perform drug tests but fabricated results. In others, she tampered with drug samples so they would test positive for illegal drugs when there were no illegal substances at all. And sometimes she would change the weight of tested drugs so that they would trigger more serious penalties.
Her abuse of trust will continue to plague the system too,
But what strikes me most is that Dookhan – who engaged in serious and pervasive misconduct with wide and far-reaching costs – received and served a prison sentence far less severe than many of her victims. Some defendants suffered additional costs far more difficult to quantify: lost livelihoods, broken relationships from time in prison, children removed from their custody, and the trauma from incarceration. And then there are the millions of taxpayer dollars that will ultimately be spent trying to clean up Dookhan’s mess.