Representatives from the Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the American Civil Liberties Union have co-authored a strongly-worded open letter to the Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, demanding that a special investigator with full subpoena powers be appointed to investigate the misconduct at the Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.
The scandal stems from the actions of one Annie Dookhan, a drug lab chemist, who falsified drug test results that impacted thousands of criminal cases across the state.
One of the goals of the present investigation is to determine whether others at the lab were involved in the same sort of misconduct.
In their letter to Martha Coakley, the coalition of attorneys is demanding that a special AG be appointed to conduct the investigation. The demand is based on the evident conflict of interest arising from Coakley’s leadership in the investigation.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office prosecutes drug cases, assists and supports prosecutors, and generally uses the same individuals who may become the subject of the investigation. The coalition is warning against the impropriety of prosecutors investigating other prosecutors who work in the same office and have a continuing close relationship.
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