MA Drug Dealers Could Win Release In Expert-Testimony Case


Hundreds of Massachusetts drug cases could be appealed and some convicted drug dealers could win early release because of a ruling by the state's highest court that retroactively applies a new constitutional principle to drug trials held from 2005 to 2009, the Boston Globe reports. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Massachusetts routinely violated the rights of defendants in drug trials by not having a chemist testify in person that a seized substance was in fact an illegal drug.

The Massachusetts high court said that the ruling should apply from 2005, when Massachusetts law permitted trials without chemists. the court also said the appeal will be available to drug defendants even if the defense did not object at the time of the trial, settling a key question that has bedeviled experts.

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