The Massachusetts Bar Association praises Gov. Deval L. Patrick
for his quick action in appointing an independent investigator to
undertake a broad review of the William Hinton State Drug
Laboratory, a request the MBA and other groups made in October.
On Monday, Nov. 5, the governor appointed Massachusetts
Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha to lead the investigation. Cunha,
both a former assistant attorney general and assistant district
attorney with 30 years of experience, brings a wide breadth of
experience to this critical role.
"We are pleased that the governor has selected the inspector
general, who has the experience and strong investigatory tools at
hand to thoroughly examine the matter," said Martin W. Healy, chief
legal counsel to the MBA.
The MBA, along with the Committee for Public Counsel Services,
the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the
American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts called on Attorney
General Martha M. Coakley in an Oct. 24 letter to appoint an
independent investigator to examine the Jamaica Plain lab, where
chemist Annie Dookhan is alledged to have mishandled the evidence
in thousands of drug cases.
Coakley, on Oct. 31, asked the governor to appoint an
independent investigator to review the policies, practices, and
oversight at the lab. The attorney general said her office will
continue to focus on the criminal investigation of Dookhan and the
impact on drug cases in which she was involved.
"It is critical that all parties have unquestioned faith in that
process from the beginning so that they will have full confidence
in the conclusions drawn at the end," Coakley said in a