That headline is something that the MA ACLU knows, WBUR knows, The Boston Globe knows, the MA Attorney General’s Office knows but no one, it seems, wants to come out and say. It is something I have come to know over the past year with information coming like a slow trickle out of the MA Department of Public Health.
Dookhan was released from jail two months ago after serving two and a half years of a 3 – 5 year prison term for obstruction of justice and falsification of academic records (aka she lied on her CV and said she had a masters degree when she did not). While she worked for the department of public health she considered herself part of the prosecution teams that she worked with. Be it members of the police department or the ADAs from Norfolk County, Suffolk County or even Federal ADAs Dookhan was friends with them all and the feeling was mutual.
How do I know this? She told the MA ADAs in email after email between where she excitedly cheers defendant’s convictions. In her mind she was doing the right thing. She was helping to put people away who ADAs referred to as “scumbags” and “pieces of garbage”. She was told these people posed a threat to society so what else was she supposed to do? Would you or anyone else want to be responsible for letting a dangerous person out of jail? One ADA told Dookhan and several other chemists working in the Hinton lab that she had “A personal vendetta” against a defendant.
You see Dookhan wasn’t just a lone chemist who rushed and made mistakes because she wanted to advance her career as the inspector general’s office has asserted. She was also the ADA’s ace in the hole. Because, as one Federal ADA put it “Whenever a chemist shows up to testify, the defense will take a plea 9 out of 10 times”. Which must have pleased Dookhan to no end because she told them “I want defendants to plea or stipulate”. How much more clear can this case be?
Dookhan wanted defendants to stipulate so she rigged their evidence until they did. Because when the mandatory minimum for a drug conviction is 10 years and the ADA is offering 3 how could you not take it? She hated driving to testify in cases that would plea out the minute she walked into the courtroom. In court, chemist testimony carries a lot of weight and everyone knew it, especially Dookhan and the ADAs.
Dookhan was arrested for breaking chain of evidence custody by going into the evidence safe at the Hinton lab and getting 90 samples for Norfolk county without logging them out. Why would she do that? Because of all the MA ADAs offices she helped, Norfolk county was by far her favorite. After all two of her favorite ADAs worked there.
One of her favorites, George (or GEORGIIIIEEEEEEE as Dookhan called him) Papachristos resigned shortly after this case broke. The other, who calls herself “The Debanator”, still works for the Norfolk County ADA’s office and once referred to herself as a “chemist Khan (Dookhan’s maiden name) hog.” As for Dookhan and GEORGIIIIEEEEEE, that will have to wait for my next post…
I have attached what I call the Dookhan white paper to this blog. In it are email after email that paints a very clear picture of what was going on between the Hinton lab and the ADAs office.
This case and the case of Sonja Farak are not about these chemists. They are about the corruption of our criminal justice system at the hands of the drug war. Because of the harsh sentencing laws in our state, these chemists were allowed to run wild on our criminal justice system and in the lives of tens of thousands of mostly low income, mostly minority citizens of this state.
My question to the Maura Healy and the people’s law office is what people count? Do low income people’s lives count? Do they count as much as the egos and the reputations of some in the DA’s offices around the state? So far the answer to that question has been a resounding no.
In fact the MA ADAs refuse to even release all the names of the people affected by these chemist cases to the ACLU. They don’t want to let go of their precious convictions. They are like the Gollum of the MA criminal justice system, holding their precious cases until it is their ultimate undoing.
My hope is that people read the white paper attached to this post and come to their own and get mad. I hope they contact their elected officials and the DAs office and demand that they open an independent investigation into the conduct of the ADAs with Annie Dookhan. Also people should demand that all people who had evidence tested by Dookhan have that evidence thrown out immediately without further expensive investigation.
How much longer do people who had their evidence rigged by a corrupt chemist have to be in jail? This case has cost tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars. How much longer do the people affected by this need to wait for justice? Annie Dookhan White Paper