Prosecutors want former state chemist Annie Dookhan to spend up to seven years in prison for allegedly mishandling drug samples and obstructing justice in a devastating scandal that has called into question thousands of cases and marred the integrity of the criminal justice system in Massachusetts.
Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office recommended in a court filing Thursday that Dookhan serve five to seven years in prison, followed by a five-year probationary term, if she decides to plead guilty to more than two dozen criminal charges.
Coakley’s office filed the request in response to an order from Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol S. Ball seeking sentencing recommendations from the prosecution and defense ahead of a conference scheduled for Friday “regarding a possible change of plea” in the case, records show.
Dookhan has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include evidence tampering and obstruction of justice. Her lawyer, Nicolas A. Gordon, provided a copy of his recommendation to the judge and planned to formally file it on Friday, a court official said.
Each count of tampering with evidence and obstruction carries a sentence of up to 10 years in state prison.
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