Police chiefs, justice system brace for fallout from drug lab scandal
Authorities gird for upending of years of cases
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“If they have a drug conviction, having either served time or not, but then got into some other trouble, their sentence could be enhanced — sometimes by decades — because of the earlier conviction,” Rossman said. A sentence for a new firearms charge, for example, could be boosted by 15 years if the suspect was convicted earlier of a drug felony.
Records will have to be reviewed individually. “A lot of lawyers who are going to do this work were paid by the state to represent clients,” he said. “I think it’s going to cost the state a lot in lawyers’ bills trying to unravel the mess.”
And if public confidence in the state’s drug testing is shaken by the scandal, said BU Law’s Breen, prosecutors may have to question potential jurors for any biases against chemical testing in future drug cases, perhaps for years.