ACLU welcomes independent investigation into drug lab scandal

Attorney General's office today asked Governor Patrick to appoint an independent investigator to help ensure public confidence in the state's criminal justice system.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christopher Ott, Communications Director, 617-482-3170 x322,

BOSTON -- The following may be attributed to Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts:

"The ACLU of Massachusetts welcomes the Attorney General's decision to ask Governor Deval Patrick to appoint an independent investigator to conduct a broader review of the policies, practices, and oversight of the Hinton drug lab and its drug analysis unit.

"As unimpeachable as the Office of the Attorney General is, to truly expedite an incontrovertible resolution to this crisis and fully restore public confidence in our criminal justice system, this expanded investigation must be--and must be seen--to be credible and beyond reproach.

"An independent investigator must be unencumbered by any real or potential conflict of interest, with complete control over the investigation's scope, taking it wherever the facts lead. That is critical to restoring the integrity of our criminal justice system. The investigator should be given all resources, including subpoena power, to fully and thoroughly do the job.

"Appropriately resolving the scandal will require ascertaining not only which cases are tainted, but also how they are tainted. For example, beyond the alleged malfeasance by Annie Dookhan, the scandal raises questions about possible violations of protocol by lab employees, prosecutors, and other law enforcement personnel.


"Only a truly independent and empowered investigation will restore the public's confidence in the integrity of the criminal justice system, which has been profoundly shaken by this crisis."

For information about legal advocates' call for an independent investigation into the drug lab scandal, go to:

For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts, go to: