Drug Testing

Mass. Chemist Sentenced to 3-5 Years for Mishandling Drug Tests

Tainted thousands of criminal cases

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Annie Dookhan, the former state chemist whose mishandling of evidence in drug cases threw the state's criminal justice system into turmoil, pleaded guilty today in Suffolk Superior Court and was sentenced to three to five years in prison.

"You plead guilty here because you are guilty?" Judge Carol S. Ball said as she explained the rights Dookhan was giving up because of her guilty plea.

"Yes, Your Honor," Dookhan said meekly.

Dookhan's falsification of drug tests, in an attempt to look like a highly productive employee, prompted the release of hundreds of convicts, raised questions about thousands of cases, and forced the state to spend millions to address the problems.

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