The Supreme Judicial Court announced today that 21,587 cases
affected by the misconduct of chemist Annie Dookhan at the Hinton
State Laboratory have been ordered dismissed.
Following the Supreme Judicial Court's directive in Kevin
Bridgeman & Others v. District Attorney for the Suffolk
District & Others, 476 Mass. 298 (2017), Supreme Judicial
Court Justice Frank M. Gaziano, as the Single Justice assigned to
handle the case subsequent to the full court's decision and order
remanding the case to the county court, filed an order on April 19,
2017 in the clerk's office for the Supreme Judicial Court for
Suffolk County dismissing the cases that the district attorneys in
the seven counties identified as appropriate for dismissal on
account of that misconduct.
On March 16, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court signed an order
appointing the Honorable Margot Botsford, who retired on March 15,
2017, to serve as Special Master on the Bridgeman case to assist
the Single Justice. The order of appointment is effective until
August 1, 2017.
Special Master Botsford today filed a First Report of the Special Master with the
Clerk for the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.
The report outlines next steps following the dismissals, which
- Preparing the forms of notice and an explanation of rights to
the defendants whose Dookhan drug convictions have not been
dismissed as well as those whose Dookhan convictions have been
- Providing notice to the relevant Dookhan defendants by mail and
other means on or before May 18, 2017;
- Maintaining an informational web page on the Massachusetts
court system's website online here: http://www.mass.gov/courts/drug-lab-cases.html.
This web page will include, among other items, translations of the
notices to Dookhan defendants into eight languages in addition to
- Maintaining a hotline with the number (888) 999-2881, operated
by the Committee for Public Counsel Services, Monday-Friday, from
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
- Updating Court Activity Record Information (CARI) and Criminal
Offender Record Information (CORI), as well as Trial Court dockets,
to properly reflect each of the dismissals of Dookhan convictions
proposed by the district attorneys and ordered by the Single
Justice in his April 19, 2017 order of dismissal.
The report recognizes the efforts of the seven district
attorneys who, "appear to have taken extremely seriously the
court's charge in Bridgeman II to conduct a careful review
of each relevant Dookhan defendant case in light of Dookhan's
misconduct and the importance of integrity and fairness in our
criminal justice system."
"The seven District Attorneys are to be commended for their
commitment to accomplish this task in a careful and timely manner,
and for the enormous amount of work that they and their staffs have
It further acknowledges the work of a small working group
comprised of two Assistant District Attorneys from Norfolk and
Middlesex Counties and two attorneys employed respectively by the
Committee for Public Counsel Services and the American Civil
Liberties Union who represent some of the Dookhan defendants
involved in the Bridgeman litigation. The report states
that this group has provided "invaluable assistance" in the ongoing
efforts to implement the Supreme Judicial Court's recent