SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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October 24, 2013

Judge: 5 years maximum for Mass. chemist if she pleads

(Continued)

He declined to comment yesterday on Ball’s decision.

Assistant Attorney General Anne Kaczmarek urged Ball at last week’s hearing to sentence Dookhan to five to seven years in state prison, calling her motives “selfish,” and saying she had “weakened the criminal justice system.”

Prosecutors said the fallout from Dookhan’s alleged actions has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars to assess the scope of the tainted evidence and mitigate the effect on thousands of people charged with drug offenses during the nine years Dookhan worked at the lab.

State officials have estimated that Dookhan tested samples involving more than 40,000 defendants.

Dookhan told state police she engaged in “dry labbing,” when she would assemble a large collection of samples from different cases, test only a few, but label all of the samples as positive for illegal drugs.

Prosecutors said Dookhan’s alleged actions have led to a public mistrust in the criminal justice system by harming the role of government witnesses and undermining the integrity of evidence.

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