A federal judge recently awarded a $2.1 million verdict to a man who spent nearly 16 months in jail after disgraced state chemist Annie Dookhan testified the substance police found on him was cocaine.
Dookhan never appeared in federal court to contest Leonardo Johnson's suit. Johnson, 53, was arrested in 2008 on a charge of distribution of cocaine in a school zone, convicted after a trial at which Dookhan testified she had tested the substance and found it to be cocaine, and sentenced to two years in the Suffolk County House of Correction.
That's about the same length of sentence Dookhan got for falsifying thousands of test results at the state lab in Jamaica Plain.
"The substance which served as the basis for this sentence was not, in fact, cocaine, but Defendant Dookhan - a chemist at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory - falsely certified and testified otherwise," US District Court Judge Indira Talwani wrote in an order setting out the amount of the verdict. Talwani based her decision in large part on Johnson's affidavit, in which he detailed the travails he suffered in jail - from rodent droppings in food to fights with cellmates - and the difficulties he has faced since getting work and a place to live:
Plaintiff credibly describes his anger, frustration, helplessness, and despair at being falsely accused, falsely convicted, and falsely imprisoned. He tells of threats to his person, stints in solitary confinement, fights, deprivations of dignity, and disconnection from family and friends.
Plaintiff further avers that his false conviction contributed to post-incarceration difficulties, including unemployment and homelessness.
Based on this record, judgment will be entered in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant Dookhan.
But the locally owned stores of the area could be winners, as well, because the people driving down to the new Target after it opens in March could stick around the area and shop locally. He notes that as traditional malls are dying, the hot new thing are places such as Legacy Place, which try to replicate the neighborhood shopping areas of old - like, oh, Roslindale Square.
The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission yesterday upheld a five-day suspension levied against Icon on Warrenton Street for serving four underage Tufts freshmen on an April, 2016 night that ended with one of them falling to his death from the Tufts Medical Center garage.
The Boston Licensing Board had ordered the suspension last June. Icon appealed the decision to the ABCC, which ruled that the evidence showed the club let the four in with fake IDs and let them spend $1,006.20 for a reserved table at which they were served one bottle of vodka and one of champagne.
The commission also ruled that the punishment was not excessive, in part because Icon had been found to have served a minor in a separate incident in 2014. The commission did rule that the board had failed to prove the four students were overserved, despite testimony from one of them that they all left the club intoxicated.
The ABCC has yet to rule on two other suspensions - totaling more than a year - the board ordered for incidents after Alex Bhak, 18, of New York City, fell to his death.
Icon's owners, Paga, Inc., can appeal the ABCC decision in Suffolk Superior Court.
A roving UHub photographer happened upon this scene on Mass. Ave. at MIT around 5:30 p.m., reports "the driver of the RAV ran for it," bringing State, Cambridge, MIT and MBTA police to the area to look for him. Boston Police also arrived on scene - and took custody of the driver and the car after he was located nearby, because the vehicle was carjacked on Edgerly Road in the Fenway.
Dave Boudreau reports the driver, who crossed the center line, also hit a taxi.