The current Massachusetts crime-lab rumpus is nicely revealing the true nature of Boston’s local dailies.
From Sunday’s Boston Globe (boink! sorry, paywall):
Close supervision is key in a lab, specialists say, and Annie Dookhan’s appeared to lack it
State drug lab chemist Annie Dookhan labeled the vials as containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. But when another chemist ran the vials through a machine to confirm Dookhan’s analysis, one had little THC, and another was mixed with morphine and codeine.
The second chemist sent the vials back to Dookhan to resolve the discrepancies, asking her to repeat the screening test the lab used to tentatively identify the drugs in an evidence bag. When she resubmitted them, the machine showed the vials contained pure THC.
The incident, detailed in a 100-page State Police report obtained by the Globe last week, illustrates one of the many ways Dookhan was able to circumvent safeguards intended to ensure that drug evidence was properly handled and analyzed by workers in a now-closed lab formerly run by the state Department of Public Health.
Forensics specialists interviewed by the Globe say the lab’s procedures appear to have been fairly standard, including having two chemists test every sample, but they were still not enough to prevent an ambitious chemist’s rampant breaches of lab protocol, apparently to boost her performance record. In the process, investigators say, Dookhan has jeopardized the reliability of drug evidence used in 34,000 cases during her nine-year career.
Not so in Sunday’s Boston Herald:
Horton effect could sink gov’s future
Every accused drug dealer sprung from jail thanks to the state crime-lab fiasco could be another Willie Horton waiting to snuff out Gov. Deval Patrick’s aspirations for higher office, political watchers say.
“If Deval Patrick were to run for president, this would be a huge issue,” former state treasurer Joe Malone, a Republican, said. “This is a case where every American would understand that this kind of malpractice on his administration’s part puts criminals back on the street. Willie Horton certainly comes to mind.”
Horton is the convicted murderer whose violent crime spree while on weekend furlough from prison under Michael Dukakis’ watch was the subject of an infamous attack ad that helped sink the former governor’s 1988 presidential bid.
And now Patrick, who has said he will not run for re-election and is seen as a rising Democratic star on the national stage, must watch as offenders in potentially thousands of cases try to use evidence tainted by alleged rogue chemist Annie Dookhan, who was arrested Friday, as their ticket to freedom.
No investigation. Just speculation.
That’s right: The Herald.