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Advocates applaud Rollins’s request to overturn thousands of convictions linked to troubled drug lab

Since the state first revealed in 2012 that there was trouble with drug testing at William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute, some lawyers have argued that all drug evidence processed there during the tenures of two troubled chemists was in doubt, and convictions linked to the scandal-plagued facility should be overturned.

On Saturday, that vision appeared to be gaining momentum as a result of a move by Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins that could potentially wipe out tens of thousands of drug convictions based on testing at the Jamaica Plain lab.

“If you want to build confidence in the criminal legal system, you can’t have circumstances where people cheated and won,” said attorney Carlton Williams, who handled drug lab litigation for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and now teaches at Cornell Law School.

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