EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

October 28, 2012

Courts seeking $8.7m to handle drug lab crisis

BOSTON (AP) — The state’s judiciary says it needs $8.7 million to handle legal challenges to thousands of criminal cases that have potentially been tainted by a chemist accused of mishandling drug samples at a state lab.

Top court administrators included the estimate in a letter sent to the administration of Gov. Deval Patrick last week.

Special court sessions have been set up around the state to handle challenges filed by lawyers for defendants now serving time or awaiting trial in drug cases handled by chemist Annie Dookhan.

Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice charges.

Prosecutors have said she told state police she skirted lab protocols and faked test results in some cases.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has asked for $15 million to deal with the crisis.

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