The Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts crime lab scandal is having a measurable impact on crimes rates in the Boston area a year after judges began releasing inmates — some with long records of drug-dealing and violence — over concerns about tainted evidence. The scandal keyed on Annie Dookhan, a former state chemist who allegedly mishandled evidence in thousands of drug cases.
While the Dookhan defendants' release has not unleashed the tidal wave some feared, offenders returned to the street have already figured in three killings, either as suspects or victims. Court records shows that more than 600 Dookhan defendants have had convictions against them erased or temporarily set aside, or they've been released on bail pending a new trial. Of those, at least 83 have been re-arrested — about 13 percent of the total — and 16 have been arrested more than once for crimes ranging from possessing a pound of cocaine to vandalizing cars.