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Chemist who falsified drug tests in criminal cases goes to jail herself (+video)

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As of Friday, the state had spent a total of $8.5 million responding to the drug lab crisis, AP reports, and another $8.6 million was authorized to be spent in the current fiscal year, according to Alex Zaroulis, spokeswoman for the state Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

Dookhan was removed from her laboratory duties after she was caught forging a colleague's initials in June 2011, according to The New York Times. But she continued to serve as an expert court witness until she was put on administrative leave in February 2012. In August 2012, she admitted to having mishandled samples, and a subsequent investigation, CNN said, alleged that she had routinely tampered with criminal evidence by altering vials of substances awaiting evaluation for drug content. She altered them, allegedly, to cover up the practice of "dry labbing" samples, which means testing only a fraction of a group of samples before marking them all positive for illegal drugs.

WBUR created charts that show the breakdown of Dookhan's lab results, along with the seemingly remarkable speed with which she processed drug tests. Her colleagues' work slowed down significantly after the US Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the Sixth Amendment right to confront one's accusers required that chemists make themselves available to testify in court about the results of criminal drug tests. But Dookhan actually started processing drug samples more quickly after that point.

During her August 2012 confession, a police report quoted by The New York Times noted, “She became sad and a slight tear came to her eye, and she stated, ‘I screwed up big time. I messed up. I messed up bad. It’s my fault. I don’t want the lab to get in trouble.’”

But Dookhan's motives remain unclear.

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