EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

May 10, 2013

Mass. high court mulling drug lab case procedures

BOSTON (AP) — Justices of Massachusetts’ highest court are deciding whether special magistrates who are dealing with of a flood of drug cases tainted by a state laboratory scandal may release convicts on bail before they’re granted new trials.

Special court sessions began after authorities closed a state lab in Boston last summer.

That happened following allegations that former chemist Annie Dookhan faked drug test results and tampered with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to charges including perjury and obstruction of justice.

The Essex County District Attorney’s Office objects to letting convicts out on bail before a decision about whether those people will get new trials.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and the state’s public defender agency say defendants deserve immediate relief.

The Supreme Judicial Court will rule within 130 days.

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