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Testing scandal second blow in recent years to drug prosecutions in Massachusetts

Once again, people in prison on drug charges could be let out because of problems with the way the state handled testing of the substances they possessed.

This time, officials are investigating whether a chemist at a state lab in Jamaica Plain compromised evidence, possibly in thousands of cases across the state.

In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled the way Massachusetts presented evidence of drug testing in many cases was unconstitutional, because defendants' lawyers could not question the technicians who certified a substance found with their clients was a particular drug - Massachusetts had allowed their certifications to be entered into court as established facts.

That ruling, Melendez-Diaz vs. Massachusetts, led to a string of decisions by Massachusetts appeals courts reversing drug verdicts in which that evidence was critical to the convictions.

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Comments

if Annie the Chemist turned out to have political connections? Like Howie Carr says: "in MA, no deal is too small and nothing is on the level".

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Right there.

You want to hire people who know what they are doing and are qualified for their jobs.

Sounds like people either were not properly trained, supervised, or recruited in the first place.

This is also why government jobs need to pay competitive salaries. You get what you pay for.

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The actual workers aren't the problem. Supervisors and Managers are the problem. These jobs (cops, firefighters, state labe workers etc) need good supervisors and managers to make sure the policies are being followed.

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