The Committee for Public Counsel Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts held a press conference on Thursday, November 30, 2017, in anticipation of the District Attorneys dismissing thousands of cases linked to Amherst State Chemist Sonia Farak’s criminal misconduct.
CPCS Deputy Chief Counsel Randy Gioia and CPCS Atty. Rebecca Jacobstein were among those who addressed the media.
Deputy Chief Counsel Gioia opened his statement by acknowledging how the war on drugs turned into a war on poor people and people of color. He said, “This case is a reflection of how a misguided war on drugs turned into a war on poor people and people of color. If you’re wealthy and white and you have a drug problem, you quietly go to drug rehab. If you’re a poor person, you can’t quietly go to drug rehab; more likely you get arrested and maybe you get put on probation or maybe you go to jail. And it turns out, for thousands of people the system that sent them to jail or put them on probation was rotten to the core.”
Atty. Jacobstein, who has clients who suffered because of Farak’s criminal misconduct and because of the subsequent misconduct of two assistant attorneys general, expressed outrage at the resulting injustice. She stated, “When the news of the Amherst Lab scandal broke, there were people in prison based on tainted Farak drug certificates. Some of them filed motions to stay their sentences and got out; they went home, returned to their families, while the justice system attempted to sort out what had happened. And then, because the Attorney General’s Office hid exculpatory evidence and lied to the court, the justice system got it wrong….One of my clients had to go back and serve 15 more months in prison, 15 months he would not otherwise have had to serve, because attorneys at the Attorney General’s Office just didn’t care about how their dishonesty would affect him, or anyone else for that matter. My client doesn’t get that time back. Nor do any of the other defendants who lost months or years of their lives while the truth was being concealed. This is an outrage.”
Deputy Chief Counsel Gioia’s and Atty. Jacobstein’s full statements can be read by clicking here.
Others who participated in the November 30th press conference were ACLUM Executive Director Carol Rose, ACLUM Legal Director Matthew Segal, ACLUM Staff Attorney Carl Williams, and Nicole Westcott, one of the thousands of individuals who were impacted by Farak’s tainted evidence.
To read the various press articles on this matter click: Farak – Press Coverage Articles.