Court orders compromise in drug cases tainted by lab scandal

BOSTON (AP) – The highest court in Massachusetts has rejected a proposal for the mass dismissal of more than 24,000 drug convictions because of misconduct by a former state drug lab chemist.

The Supreme Judicial Court did, however, order prosecutors to throw out cases clearly tainted by the scandal.

Since 2012, Massachusetts courts have been struggling to deal with the fallout from the misconduct of Annie Dookhan. She has served three years in prison for tampering with evidence and falsifying thousands of tests.

Many defendants are still waiting to challenge their convictions.

The court Wednesday declined to order the wholesale dismissal of cases sought by public defenders and the American Civil Liberties Union. The court also rejected a recommendation from prosecutors that it take no new action.

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