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US crime lab chemist arrest causes reverberations
Chemistry World ^ | 8 October 2012 | Rebecca Trager

Posted on 10/08/2012 1:08:58 PM PDT by neverdem

Edited on 10/09/2012 9:42:50 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Last month’s arrest of a chemist, who worked in a Massachusetts Department of Public Health state laboratory, for allegedly falsifying evidence used in criminal cases is prompting calls for major forensic science reform in the US.

Over her nine year career at the William A Hinton State Lab in Jamaica Plain the defendant, Annie Dookhan, tested about 60,000 samples involved in roughly 34,000 criminal cases. More than 1140 defendants have been incarcerated as a result of Dookhan’s work and those cases are now in doubt, says Terrel Harris, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.


(Excerpt) Read more at rsc.org ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; US: New York
KEYWORDS: chemistry; dookhan; forensicchemistry; fraud
She'll probably cop a plea, IMHO, 10 years minimum, maybe time off for good behavior, maybe not, plus a stiff fine.
1 posted on 10/08/2012 1:09:08 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Maybe her sentence should be the combined time served of all those falsely convicted by her testimony.


2 posted on 10/08/2012 1:25:29 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: neverdem

ALL lab results that verify a crime should be confirmed by A SEPARATE LAB. Additionally, no samples should contain a name or details of the alleged crime.

IF both tests are positive with no chance for impropriety or prejudicial outcomes, then justice should be swift and severe.


3 posted on 10/08/2012 1:26:41 PM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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4 posted on 10/08/2012 1:31:06 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

The War On Some Drugs is an unconstitutional nightmare.

They need to cut all the people loose that were convicted based on these tests.

This idiot chemist should be put up against a wall and shot.

If I was the governor, I’d pardon the lot.


5 posted on 10/08/2012 1:32:23 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Bobalu
The War On Some Drugs is an unconstitutional nightmare.

No argument from me. How many frauds and idiots scheming against the 2nd Amendment in Fast & Furious with a resulting hundreds of dead people will do hard time like this phony chemist? I won't hold my breath.

6 posted on 10/08/2012 1:45:23 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: clee1
ALL lab results that verify a crime should be confirmed by A SEPARATE LAB.

Chemical analysis usually involves destroying part of the sample, and forensic sample sizes are often small to begin with. There is also the matter of doubling the cost.

7 posted on 10/08/2012 1:47:36 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Bobalu

This is incredible. She should spend the rest of her life in a ten by six cell thinking about the lives she’s ruined.


8 posted on 10/08/2012 1:51:56 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: SeeSharp

What is going to be the COST associated with thousands of people contesting their convictions based on what this “scientist” did? What is is going to COST when these innocents sue for wrongful incarceration?

I’m all for throwing the book at the guilty... but let’s make really sure they are!

A close friend of mine was fired from a GREAT job because they said she tested positive for THC on a random drug test. This lady has never done a drug in her life! Wouldn’t know weed if it jumped up and bit her....

She immediately paid for a independent blood/urine/hair test that came back clean. She sued and won a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

The belief in the infallibility of scientific criminal evidence is laughable. Tests are wrong (for a whole host of reasons) all the time.

For something as serious as depriving someone of their life, liberty, or property.... we MUST be certain, regardless of the cost.


9 posted on 10/08/2012 2:01:45 PM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: neverdem

Remember Frederic Whitehurst:

FBI to review thousands of old cases for flawed evidence

When Whitehurst, a chemist with a doctoral degree from Duke, arrived at the FBI crime lab in 1986, the first thing he noticed was that the place was, as he called it, a pigsty. The equipment was outdated and there was a film of black soot coating the counters – a dust from the vents that the agents called “black rain.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/frederic-whitehurst


10 posted on 10/08/2012 2:19:18 PM PDT by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: neverdem
An average chemist at the lab analysed 50 to 150 samples per month and her rate was estimated at over 500.

And she gave the DA's the answers they wanted. And this went on for 10 years and nobody in the big chairs noticed. There are other heads that should roll.

11 posted on 10/08/2012 2:37:13 PM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: donna

Thanks for the link.


12 posted on 10/08/2012 2:39:48 PM PDT by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: clee1

Another way to prevent this is just to randomly send the lab control samples of substances where you already know the composition, and see what results the lab sends back. When they tell you that the control sample of powdered sugar you sent is cocaine, then you know you have a problem on your hands.


13 posted on 10/08/2012 2:43:49 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: neverdem

Death Penalty implications:

Theoretically and spiritually - I don’t have a major problem with the death penalty.

However, I don’t trust the government, (who is acting partially in my name,) to kill any citizens - and this is why.

There are too many permutations of Stupid, Corrupt and Lazy between an arrest and a conviction.


14 posted on 10/08/2012 2:55:22 PM PDT by HannibalHamlinJr
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To: SeeSharp

If the sample size is too small to be tested twice, then it couldn’t be tested by an independent lab paid for by the defense if it ever came to trial, which would likely make it inadmissable. So why bother to test such a small sample in the first place?


15 posted on 10/08/2012 3:05:04 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Uncle Chip
Figure 20 working days per month. Five samples per day is 100 per month. That is a reasonable rate.

Nobody runs 25 samples per day.

16 posted on 10/08/2012 3:34:26 PM PDT by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the far North)
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To: neverdem

‘Forensic science is very much a “wild, wild west” where everyone does what they want,’ Lee says, noting that the scientists are usually supervised by police officers. ‘You have a system where, unfortunately, you are being graded in how much throughput you can get and how fast you are at your job and that is very dangerous in this line of work.’

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Will Dookyhand’s boss be investigated?

This statement and evidence places very many criminal proceedings into question. Who will act?
Canning this kid won’t fix anything. However, if she’s found guilty, she ought to be fed to fire ants. Then her boss. And her boss’ boss’. And so on.


17 posted on 10/08/2012 5:27:48 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: neverdem

She should be nailed to a tree and executed by flamethrower. So should her supervisors.


18 posted on 10/08/2012 5:37:10 PM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: neverdem
Diversity is our STRENGTH!TM

Cheers!

19 posted on 10/08/2012 8:58:59 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Bobalu
The War On Some Drugs is an unconstitutional nightmare.

And it's corrupt from top to bottom. It produces so many evils, there can simply be no justification for its existence. As with alcohol, the solution is worse than the problem.

Conservatives who support it are conserving Tyranny. Liberals who support it are liberating Injustice.

IMHO, anybody who, through negligence, indifference, or malice, causes the criminal conviction and subsequent false imprisonment of a fellow human being, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This bitch should do time, along with anyone who enabled her.

And, as I've opined before, whoever has been falsey imprisoned should be awarded, at a minimum, 1 million dollars for each year they were incarcerated. It hardly compensates for the loss of one's Freedom, but it's a start.

20 posted on 10/08/2012 9:26:35 PM PDT by sargon
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