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View Diary: Chemist in MA who faked tests must go to PRISON (17 comments)

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  •  And what of the larger problem? (10+ / 0-)

    Austerity is in fashion. Tom Keane puts it well:

    The lab, located in Jamaica Plain, was shabby and poorly managed. It was the state’s various district attorneys who most cared about prompt and accurate testing, but all they could do was complain from the outside (which they had been doing for years). Thus, for instance, Dookhan was testing up to 500 samples a month — three or four times as many as her fellow chemists. But the lack of supervision meant alarm bells were never triggered.

    Then too, the burden on the crime labs dramatically increased in 2009. That was the year the US Supreme Court concluded, in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, that chemists physically had to show up in court and testify as to their findings. Before then, a written certification had been enough. Yet despite this new workload, the lab’s budget was cut.  ...

    Budget cuts created desperation. A lack of supervision created opportunity. What Dookhan did was wrong, but so too was the system that made it possible. The money now spent cleaning up this mess will be far greater than any once saved.

    It's Annie Dookhan, btw.  Not to quibble - it's just people won't find the case if they search for it under "Anna Doorhan."  

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 01:05:06 PM PDT

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