The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reaffirmed a deadline yesterday for Commonwealth prosecutors to identify which, if any, of the thousands of drug cases tainted by disgraced state chemist Annie Dookhan they intend to re-litigate.
The Court had decided a week prior not to throw out all of the more than 20,000 cases believe to be tainted by Dookhan's work, but gave prosecutors for the Commonwealth just 90 days to produce a list of cases for which they plan to pursue criminal charges with other evidence.
Given the sheer volume of cases potentially tainted by Dookhan's work, that timeline puts pressure on prosecutors, and today Justice Margot Botsford reinforced the message.
"These are real deadlines," Botsford told Commonwealth attorneys. "We do not anticipate that there will be extensions except for absolutely enormously cataclysmic acts of God."
Botsford wants prosecutors and defense lawyers to work together to draft notices alerting defendants with cases tied to Dookhan of their right to have their cases re-examined.