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Should Relapse Be Treated Like A Crime?

Spotlights like this one provide original commentary and analysis on pressing criminal justice issues of the day. You can read them each day in our newsletter, The Daily Appeal. “As soon as Julie Eldred was granted probation for stealing jewelry to buy drugs, she got busy fulfilling the judge’s conditions,” Jan Hoffman reported for the New York Times […]

What’s Said Is Not What’s Done: How Reagan-Era Drug Warrior Politics Dominate in Progressive Massachusetts — and What We Can Do About It.

It’s de rigueur these days in progressive circles to decry attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “bring back the war on drugs.” A cursory internet search for the phrase “Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs” returns nearly identical headlines containing a variation on the theme from the Washington Post, New York Magazine, the New Republic, Vice, […]

The Massachusetts Lab Scandals: Confronting the New Normal of Mass Error in Criminal Justice

Last month, Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers filed suit seeking an extraordinary measure of relief: dismissal en masse of thousands of drug convictions, with prejudice — meaning that prosecutors would forever be barred from retrying the defendants. The circumstances giving rise to the request were, at first glance, equally extraordinary. First, there was the revelation in 2013 that Massachusetts state […]

Bar complaint filed against former MA Assistant Attorneys General in lab scandal

Recently, a Massachusetts judge took two former prosecutors to task for attempting to cover-up the extent of a massive lab scandal that called into question thousands of drug convictions in the state. Today, a lawyer from the Innocence Project and a Northeastern Law Professor took the rare step of filing bar complaints against those lawyers — Kris Foster and Anne Kaczmarek — previously […]

Prosecutorial misconduct found in Massachusetts

The scandals marring Massachusetts’ state drug labs — and its criminal justice system — have taken a new turn. Former state chemists Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan have both received their legal comeuppances for their misconduct. And at least one wrongfully convicted person, Leonardo Johnson, has been awarded $2 million as a result of being victimized by Dookhan’s lies. But last week, following months of […]