Thanks to Annie Dookhan, more than 300 inmates have been released from prison, after she pleaded guilty to fabricating her results in tests conducted as a Massachusetts state chemist. Dookhan, who used to “process” drug samples almost three times as quickly as her colleagues, was sentenced to three to five years in prison. Um, nice to know you deliberately fabricate test results in criminal cases and only get a slap on the wrist, but countless people are behind bars with long prison sentences for far less serious crimes.
Police estimate Annie Dookhan’s fraud possibly tainted as many as 40,000 prosecutions that she was involved in. Dookhan not only lied about results, declaring untested samples positive, but also tampered with evidence, forged the signatures of others and lied about her own credentials.
Dookhan was suspended for forging the signature of a coworker in 2011, one year after her work was audited after superiors became suspicious of her unusually fast case turnover. Her audit uncovered no wrongdoing. It took her nearly two years to admit she fabricated case results. The judge described her as “a tragic and broken person who has been undone by her own ambition.” Annie Dookhan pleaded guilty to 27 felonies but yet walked away with only 3-5 years in prison. Ain’t America great.