The state’s public defender agency estimates it could need up to $332 million to represent thousands of people who faced criminal penalties or civil sanctions based on evidence potentially tainted at the now-closed state drug laboratory in Jamaica Plain.
The Committee for Public Counsel Services developed the budget projection as it seeks money from the Patrick administration to deal with the fallout from the drug lab scandal linked to chemist Annie Dookhan, who allegedly told State Police she falsified results.
The scale of the scandal came into sharper focus Tuesday when the attorney leading a state investigation into the drug lab, ordered by Governor Deval Patrick, provided the latest figures on how many people might be affected.
Boston attorney David Meier said his team has identified at least 10,000 people so far who were prosecuted based on drug testing conducted by Dookhan during the nine years she worked at the Department of Public Health lab.
Meier stressed that even more people could be affected because his team has not completed its inquiry into prosecutions in the district court and the Boston Municipal Court system, where most drug cases are prosecuted in the state’s criminal justice system.
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