Bridgeman v. Dist. Attorney for Suffolk Dist.Annotate this Case
Petitioners were three individuals who pleaded guilty to various drug offenses in cases where Annie Dookhan, a chemist employed in the forensic drug laboratory of the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute who committed egregious misconduct, signed the certificates of drug analysis. Petitioners filed a petition pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 211, 3 asking that if they exercise their right to postconviction relief they should not receive harsher punishment. The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) moved to intervene, arguing that the Court should implement a “global remedy” to resolve the myriad cases affected by Dookhan’s egregious misconduct. The Supreme Judicial Court granted the motion to intervene and granted relief in part, holding, primarily, (1) a defendant who has been granted a new trial based on Dookhan’s misconduct cannot be charged with a more serious offense than that of which he or she was initially convicted and, if convicted again, cannot be given a more severe sentence than that which was originally imposed; and (2) a so-called “global remedy” will not be implemented at this time. The remainder of the Court’s holdings concerned evidentiary rules to be followed in the event a “Dookhan defendant” pursues a motion to withdraw a guilty plea.