Corrupt lab worker is free after costing $50m and destroying 24,000 lives
Some criminals work for law enforcement. This is the case of "Little Annie," a crooked lab chemist whose personal effort to make herself look good led to the tossing of 24,000 drug cases and a cost to taxpayers of over $50 million.
Annie Dookhan is free following her conviction despite impacting 24,000 lives and costing the state $47 million to date.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Annie Dookhan was a lab chemist in Massachusetts, whose job it was to test drug samples. To make herself look better, she lied on her reports. Those lies became the basis for as many as 24,000 drug convictions between 2003 and 2012.
That's 24,000 people whose lives have been ruined by drug convictions, jail and prison sentences, criminal records, lost jobs, divorces, and more. By now, virtually all those convictions have been overturned, but the damage done to those lives is permanent.
For her crime, Annie Dookhan, or "Little Annie" as authorities dubbed her because of her diminutive stature, was sentenced to three years in prison.
Her misconduct has also resulted in the overturning of convictions for genuinely guilty and dangerous individuals, people who are now being released back into society when they need to be behind bars.
It is unclear what the greater crime might be. Could it be her malfeasance, or could it be the astoundingly light sentence she received? Certainly, the people who were wrongly convicted spent more than a few years in jail.
The $47 million spent to date to clean up the legal mess from her crime can never be repaid. And none of this absolves the state of lawsuits from people who were wrongly convicted. Those cases could develop and there is no way of knowing what the payouts will be.
Ultimately, it is the taxpayers of Massachusetts who will pay for Dookhan's crimes while she walks free and able to pursue a new life.
Perhaps that is the greatest crime - that the person who did the most damage has paid the least price.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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