06-24-2017  6:53 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

St. Johns Center for Opportunity to Host Meet the Employer Event June 27

Employers represented will include Mary’s Harvest and Del Monte ...

New Self-Defense Organization Offers Training to Youth in Multnomah County

EMERJ-SafeNow offers July classes for children ages 8-10 and youth ages 15-19 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

(CNN) -- A chemist accused of failing to follow protocols at a Massachusetts crime lab had been involved in testing some 50,000 drug samples, potentially opening the door to a swath of legal challenges, officials said Wednesday.

The list of samples was turned over to prosecutors and public defenders on Tuesday. The samples were tested during Annie Dookhan's nine-year term at the facility, state authorities said. The samples were from an estimated 34,000 cases Dookhan worked on during her career, authorities said.



"Fifty-thousand drug samples in question could mean numerous wrongful convictions, vacated sentences, dismissed cases, overturned convictions and so on," said Anne Goldbach, forensic services director Committee for Public Counsel Services. "Whether or not all those samples were affected, we don't know."

Goldbach said investigators first learned of a breach in protocol in February over a June 2011 incident in which samples were incorrectly catalogued.

"This is going to be a huge amount of work for both defense and prosecution attorneys and a huge drain in resources in attempting to figure out the extent of the situation," Goldbach said.

The Boston lab certified drug samples for Massachusetts law enforcement before Gov. Deval Patrick ordered it closed August 30 in the wake of an investigation into the scandal.

"This is deeply troubling information," Patrick said in statement last week. "No breach this serious can or will be tolerated. The State Police will continue their investigation to determine what happened and who is responsible so that we can hold those accountable."

The state's Department of Public Health said it had "placed an additional lab supervisor on leave pending the outcome of our investigation."

"Our job now is to continue to work with the Attorney General's Office to get to the bottom of what went wrong, assign accountability where it is warranted and prevent this type of breach from happening again."

Dookhan could not be immediately reached comment.

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