Breaking News: Hinton Crime Lab Closed

4 September 2012, As the press has been reporting, serious misconduct at the Hinton crime lab in Jamaica Plain has led the Governor to close the lab. This lab handled evidence for prosecutions in Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties and the misconduct dates from the present back to at least 2003. One chemist, Annie Dookhan (formerly known as Annie Kahn) has been identified and fired due to having improperly handled evidence. Subsequently two supervisors have been removed and the entire lab shut down, indicating that the problem was not limited to one chemist.

The investigation and subsequent closure indicates that some or all of the evidence from that lab is tainted and cannot support prosecutions.Any case involving evidence from the Hinton crime lab deserves careful scrutiny by your attorney in light of this new information, before any such case goes to trial or plea. Every individual facing charges based on evidence from this lab needs advice from effective counsel immediately to determine how the misconduct being revealed at the lab may impact your case.

Your counsel should argue that retesting of evidence by a different chemist would not establish lack of prior mishandling or fabrication and thus would not undo the taint. If samples were mishandled, retesting would not eliminate the possibility of misidentified, contaminated or incorrectly weighed samples.

Thus, your attorney should consider filing motions for discovery and eventually a motion to dismiss based upon any tainted evidence from this lab.