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15 Years Later, Conviction Vacated Due To Evidence Tampering

Convictions are still being up-ended nearly 15 years after a Massachusetts drug lab chemist, Sonja Farak (pictured here), was found to be falsifying results.
Convictions are still being up-ended nearly 15 years after a Massachusetts drug lab chemist, Sonja Farak (pictured here), was found to be falsifying results. Photo Credit: Netflix

Convictions are still being up-ended nearly 15 years after a Massachusetts drug lab chemist was found to be falsifying results.

Earlier this September, a superior court judge ordered a new trial for a man convicted of heroin possession in 2006. The judge said this is necessary because Massachusetts did not fully investigate problems at one of its law enforcement labs.

Thousands of cases have already been dismissed or reopened due to the Boston crime lab scandal. From 2003-2005, lab technician Sonja Farak doctored test results to hide her own habit of ingesting drugs that were sent to her for analysis. She was convicted in 2014.

Now Eugene Sutton will get another trial. The judge vacated his prior conviction and a new trial could be held if the district attorney decides to prosecute.

The scope of Farak’s interference with drug testing seems to keep getting larger as the years pass. She tested more than 9,000 samples while working at the state lab in Boston. Anyone convicted in whole or in part, by the evidence she handled has a legitimate shot at securing a new trial.

The story of Farak's misdeeds, as well as those of another chemist at the same lab, are the subject of a new Netflix documentary, "How to Fix a Drug Scandal."

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