Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

MASSACHUSETTS PROSECUTORS FEEL “SICK” OVER DRUG LAB SCANDAL’S CAUSING MORE RELEASES FROM JAIL

The ramifications of the Commonwealth’s latest law enforcement travesty continues. The review of various cases tainted at the hands of the credibility-challenged drug lab chemist Annie Dookhan (hereinafter, “Exchemist”) continue. The apparently wrongful incarceration of various Massachusetts prisoners, however, are coming to an end. At least for a little while.

This week’s Attorney Sam’s Takes have been focused on this ever-changing story, as well as the cries of impending doom to us all by the chief law enforcement of Suffolk County, Daniel Conley. Today, we bring you the reaction from the District Attorney of another county…and the illness it has apparently caused him.

Take, for example, the case of Jeff Lucien. Two years ago, Quincy police claimed that he sold them cocaine in a school zone. When he was confronted by the evidence the Commonwealth said it had, he pleaded guilty in return for a five-year prison sentence. Two days ago, Lucien walked into the Dedham courthouse from which he had been sentenced. He came out free and carrying his child.

Lucien’s five-year sentence, still at three years to go, has been vacated. His plea has been thrown out and his case reverted back to pretrial status.

Lucien, 34, is just the latest inmate freed in the fallout from the state drug lab fiasco – one of at least 20 people whose cases have been affected so far, a development caused by the admitted actions by Exchemist. Of course, that’s as far as we know about the misfeasance and malfeasance in the lab… for now.

Whether the authorities are going to leave it at that remains to be seen.

In the meantime, Lucien has left the courthouse with his family. “I feel really good to be with my family right now. I’m very, very happy,” he said.

Not everybody is happy about it. In fact, some folks are downright sickened by it.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey is one such person. He has told the Boston Herald, “It makes me feel sick that the hard work that had gone into prosecuting these individuals could be thrown out the window”.

“There will be a larger onslaught in the coming weeks of people who have committed very serious crimes who will be let out of jail or face significantly lesser charges,” Morrissey said. “It leaves me kind of speechless that one individual could cause so much damage.”

Morrissey describes the situation as the beginning of a legal nightmare. “That sickens me…That the effort by the police is going by the wayside.”

Authorities say as many as 34,000 cases have been called into question because of Exchemist. She has immediately been characterized as a “rogue chemist” in assumption that she was the only one performing the misdeeds at issue.

Of course, it has also been released that chemists had voiced suspicions about such behaviors in the past. Supervisors are said to have ignored such complaints.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Sickened Political Law Enforcement Leaders

Perhaps it might make Mr. Morrissey’s tummy feel better if he realized that this has not all been caused by one person. What if such a concerned law enforcement leader took this, together with other revelations of integrity-challenged members of prosecution teams (from corrupt police officers to chemists and onward), and decided to go to the heart of the problem.

Yes, wouldn’t that be something. Don’t hold your breath, though. The way the system works at present is the way the system worked when they were elected. They may see it as it is not all that broken.

But to the rest of us…it is.

If these District Attorneys, as well as their brethren from the other Massachusetts counties, looked at the current corruption scandals that have rocked their universe with the unfortunate perspectives that reality brings us…maybe they could not only prevent such bitter embarrassments…but even do some “Justice”!

But, then again, they may fear that such investigations would make them look weak or even “soft on crime” by some maniacs.

There is an old saying that states that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Many believe this is true, but see it as an all or nothing proposition. After all, surely prosecutors and their teams do not have “absolute power”.

In a court of law, we just tend to treat them like they do.

And that may be just the way they like it.

Oh well, have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!

For the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?&articleid=1061163415&format=&page=1&listingType=Loc#articleFull

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