- Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office
Media Contact for Drug Lab Update
Michael O'Keefe, District Attorney
Cape and Islands — District Attorneys were notified of the closure of the Department of Public Health’s Hinton Laboratory in Jamaica Plain on August 30, 2012.
The misconduct of a single chemist was allowed to morph into a statewide crisis by the lack of oversight of Governor Patrick’s Department of Public Health.
Since that time District Attorneys’ offices across the state triaged cases with a priority to any defendant serving a sentence, made numerous public statements alerting defendants to the issue, notified all defendants by U.S. mail in several languages and are now going into an additional notification process as ordered by the court.
You would have to be living under a rock to be a drug defendant and not know you had redress if your case involved this chemist. Yet the response to all of these outreach efforts was negligible.
Let’s keep in mind that we are not dealing with actual innocence here, we are dealing with drug defendants the overwhelming majority of whom plead guilty, went through an exhaustive plea colloquy with a judge and testified under oath that they were “pleading guilty because they were guilty and for no other reason.”