Criminal freed over Mass. lab scandal now fugitive
BOSTON (AP) - A career criminal and convicted rapist whose bail was reduced after a chemist was accused of mishandling drug samples at a state lab failed to show up for a court date and is now a fugitive, authorities said Thursday.
Marcus Pixley was awaiting trial in a 2011 arrest on charges of possession and distribution of crack cocaine and resisting arrest. His lawyer successfully argued this month that his bail should be lowered because the drugs in his case were tested by Annie Dookhan, a chemist charged with obstruction of justice and accused of faking test results, skipping protocols and mixing drug samples at a now-closed state lab.Thousands of cases are at risk because of this one person's shoddy or fraudulent work. Thousands. Why was there no oversight whatsoever of this person whose work was directly related to active criminal cases in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? I'll bet you a shiny dollar that there are multiple six figure assistant supervisors who *should* have been reviewing her work, but obviously weren't. Why aren't they fired as well?
The problem with picking one lone chemist as a scapegoat is that it gives the appearance that there are no checks and balances whatsoever in the entire MA crime lab system. If thousands of convictions are being appealed on the basis of the work of one chemist, and some have been successful, then it hints that her work may have been totally unreviewed - else why would these criminals have been set free? At the very least she introduced reasonable doubt and an excuse to reopen the case.
This fugitive from justice is not only on her hands, but those of her supervisors at the State Crime Lab.
That is all.