The consequences of crime lab fraud

Posted on Aug 31, 2013

A number of accused criminals who were released from jail or prison because of alleged misconduct by a former state chemist are now back behind bars.

More than 600 defendants have had their convictions thrown out, temporarily set aside or have been released on bail pending a new trial because of accusations that former Massachusetts crime lab employee Annie Dookhan mishandled evidence in thousands of drug cases. That’s according to an article published in the Boston Globe.

Now, police are reporting some of those people are getting re-arrested on new charges. At least 83 of have been re-arrested for other crimes. That equals about 13 percent of the people whose cases have been impacted so far.Three of those released have been involved in killings, either as the suspect or a victim.

Those statistics shouldn't  be too surprising - there's no doubt some of those defendants were guilty. We shouldn't forget the other side of that though - some were innocent, and shouldn't have been in jail in the first place.

While this is not a new story it does emphasize the importance of not accepting the results from the crime lab. You have look behind the actual results, and make sure they got their the right way.