March 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Massachusetts criminal cases under review after false testimony revealed
Article provided by Stephen E. Dawley, P.C., Attorney at Law
Visit us at http://www.stephendawley.com
As many as 34,000 criminal cases may be up for review after the arrest of a crime lab chemist in Boston last year. The chemist -- who was employed by a Massachusetts crime lab for the past nine years -- was in charge of testing suspected drug substances seized during arrests throughout the state.
False testimony revealed
The female chemist served as an expert witness at thousands of trials and is accused of failing to actually test the substances used to help convict those charged with drug crimes. In all, she has been indicted for 27 charges including:
-Falsifying evidence by submitting fake test results
-Tampering with evidence
-Lying about her level of education
-Lying under oath as an expert witness in criminal trials
Normally, turnaround time on tests conducted at the state drug lab takes about two weeks. The chemist -- known for working long hours after everyone else had gone home -- often completed tests on submitted samples in about half the time, to the amazement of her colleagues.
As it turns out, she may not have tested the suspected illegal drugs at all. A history of lies about her personal and professional life came to light in 2009, particularly after a law change requiring chemists who test drug samples to testify about their findings at the trials against accused individuals.
Despite spending more time in court and less in the lab, she continued to report increasing levels of productivity, further catching the attention of her fellow employees. She later reported to investigators that she often identified heroin and cocaine based on what she and others suspected they were, testing only those that were "unknown" when submitted to the lab.
Thousands of criminal cases affected
Since the time she was removed from her job, nearly a year ago, investigators in the case against her have identified about 10,000 individuals who were accused or convicted of crimes based on evidence she supposedly tested. One man has filed a lawsuit against her for failing to test a white powder found on him which police claim was cocaine.
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections has released nearly 300 people from jail while they await new trials; their convictions relied on her testimony and the new trials will determine whether they were wrongly convicted.
Legal help is available
If you suspect your criminal conviction was based on false testimony, seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who may be able to help you obtain a new trial. If you have been accused of a crime, consult an attorney who can make sure your rights are protected.---
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