• Candidates for Mass. Gov. criticize Coakley’s handing of Dookhan case


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Those running against Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley in the upcoming gubernatorial election say a proposed sentence for rogue state drug lab chemist Annie Dookhan isn't harsh enough.

    On Friday, Prosecutors urged a judge to sentence Dookhan to up to seven years in prison if she pleads guilty in a drug-testing lab scandal that jeopardized thousands of criminal convictions and cost the state millions.

    Dookhan is charged with tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and perjury for allegedly faking tests at a now-closed state lab.

    Her attorney has asked for leniency, saying Dookhan only wanted to be "the hardest-working and most prolific and most productive chemist."

    State Treasurer Steve Grossman said the proposed sentence isn't good, common sense.

    "I just know what makes good, common sense. I don't think this is what makes good, common sense for the people of the Commonwealth," said Grossman.

    He told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti the proposed punishment doesn't fit the crime.

    "I think it's inadequate," Grossman told Sacchetti. He said Dookhan's actions caused 300 people to be released from jail and 1,100 drug cases have been dismissed. Approximately 40,000 people in the criminal justice system could be affected.

    "One person has already been shot and killed by somebody who was let out of jail," Grossman said. "I don't think it's an appropriate deterrent, so I think it should be far stronger."

    FOX 25's Jarrod Holbrook got the following comment on the case from Gov. Deval Patrick.

    "It doesn't matter whether or not I agree, I support the AG's decision," said Patrick. "I support the attorney general and that's her decision."

    In a written statement, Republican Charlie Baker, who is also running against Coakley, said: "The mismanagement of the drug lab is a serious public safety crisis still affecting our communities and it is imperative everyone responsible is held accountable to the fullest extent."

    FOX 25 has asked Coakley repeatedly to speak about Dookhan but her office said she cannot talk about an ongoing case.

    Her office did release the following statement: "Our office's investigation first uncovered the full scope of Annie Dookhan's crimes and brought them to the public's attention. Annie Dookhan caused egregious harm to individual defendants and to our criminal justice system as a whole. That is why we have recommended a significant sentence that is as much as six years beyond the court's recommended sentencing guidelines."

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