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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Letters

Letters to the editor

Globe Magazine readers respond to stories on the drug lab scandal, bird-watching, and friendship from a distance.

EXTRA CREDIT

Scott Helman’s article calls the drug lab failures “one of the state’s biggest law enforcement scandals ever” (“The Cleanup Guy,” December 9). That characterization misleadingly lays blame for this failure at the feet of law enforcement, when the Hinton lab was operated and managed by the state’s Department of Public Health. Law enforcement had nothing to do with chemist Annie Dookhan’s gross misconduct or any failures of leadership and supervision at the Department of Public Health. Make no mistake, however: Law enforcement is bearing the brunt of the work cleaning this mess up. For that reason, we were also disappointed that the work of the district attorneys’ offices was given such short shrift. We understand that this was a story about our friend and colleague David Meier, and there is much to praise about David’s career and his efforts. But the overwhelming task of sifting through these cases and ensuring that justice is done has fallen disproportionately on the people who were already the lowest-paid and most overworked professionals in our criminal justice system: our state’s prosecutors. This has stretched our resources beyond the breaking point, and we still have not been provided an ounce of relief by either the governor or the Legislature.

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