Rollins asks SJC to vacate 64 guilty pleas
Says cases show danger of mandatory minimum sentences
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Rachael Rollins asked the state’s highest court Monday to vacate guilty pleas for 64 defendants who were not provided exculpatory evidence in drug cases.
Based on a review her office conducted, Rollins wrote in a Monday filing with the Supreme Judicial Court that the individuals pleaded guilty before workers at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute completed tests on the substances that police seized.
The tests eventually came back negative, indicating there was no evidence defendants were in possession of illegal drugs, but those charged were never informed, Rollins wrote.
Rollins said her office would take several steps if the sentences were vacated, including the abandonment of all prosecution, expungement of criminal records stemming from the incident if requested, and an adjustment of later sentences that may have been harsher because of the earlier pleas.