ACLU of Massachusetts communications director Chris Ott wrote this guest blog.
If you hit the number in Powerball--with a jackpot currently estimated at $360 million as a lump-sum payment--would you mind donating $332 million of it to cover the estimated expenses associated with the Massachusetts state drug lab scandal?
In all seriousness, that's what state taxpayers could be on the hook for if we stick with a business-as-usual approach of simply re-trying compromised cases.
Fortunately, there's another way: end the failed drug war; dismiss tainted cases involving nonviolent drug offenses; dismiss cases involving police officers or prosecutors who communicated directly with chemist Annie Dookhan; and dismiss compromised cases involving defendants who have already served at least half their sentences. The ACLU and Families Against Mandatory Minimums have been advocating for this approach since shortly after the scandal broke.
That's how we can deal with the drug lab scandal in a way that's just and sensible, and without going broke, spending a fortune re-trying thousands of cases based on tainted evidence.
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