ACLU reaching out to drug defendants cleared in state lab scandal

Following the Supreme Judicial Court’s October decision to overturn thousands of drug convictions because of misconduct at an Amherst testing lab, a campaign has been launched to inform the defendants that they have been cleared of those charges…

Northampton attorney Luke Ryan’s work on behalf of his clients proved vital in exposing the breadth of Farak’s misconduct. Ryan said the treatment records his advocacy helped bring to light showed that Farak was either using or affected by drugs nearly every day she worked at the lab. He also said that this misconduct began virtually the same day she became a chemist in Amherst.

Ryan said that although he is not part of the effort to contact those whose convictions have been overturned, he supports it.

“With a drug conviction comes almost a second-class citizenship,” Ryan said. “The collateral consequences are really profound.”

He said that such a conviction can impact anything from being able to volunteer at your child’s school to one’s immigration status.

Read the full article here.