How to Fix A Drug Scandal Review – Riveting as Shocking Judicial Abuse is Exposed

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

How to Fix A Drug Scandal, a four-part Netflix original investigative series, exposes staggering twin drug testing scandals within the Massachusetts state crime lab testing centers, and the two chemists whose actions caused shock waves throughout the judicial system.

Directed by Eric Lee and produced by Alex Gibney, How to Fix a Drug Scandal unravels the story of Sonja Farak and Annie Dookan, two seemingly dedicated, hard-working, high achievers who for separate and unrelated motivations, compromised themselves and their integrity at the expense of the system they had agreed to uphold.

In episode one the groundwork is presented which details the arrest and background of Sonja Farak, who presents herself in testimony as a relatively normal child, strong, pioneering star athlete, valedictorian or her class, good daughter. In her senior year of college, she finds a job listed for the state drug lab in Amherst, which handled the drug testing for the western half of Massachusetts.

Resistance Review – Excellent Direction, Four Star Performances, Brilliant

She began what would be a nine-year tenure, daily testing confiscated substances determining if they were in fact the narcotic believed by the arresting officer. She was allegedly an exemplary employee, without any issues until one morning as she was testifying in court in a drug case a routine check of her lab station found evidence of tampering with the samples.

A quickie plea deal, Farak is sent to prison for 18 months, without cause for further investigation or consequence to the criminal justice system.

After all, as the story is told "This isn't the Annie Dookan case."

Annie Dookan, an ambitious, star athlete, first generation  immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, who needed to be the best, and thought of as exemplary. She was the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave the crime lab at night. Working in the Hinton State lab in Boston, she tested nearly a 500 samples per month, which was five times the normal average. She was the most productive chemist on the team, well like by prosecutors, ADA's, and others.

As the story is presented, electronic correspondence is heavily relied on, and emails are shown which at the time appeared to be friendly, conversational, exchanges between Dookan and prosecutors. The veil is pulled back, layer by layer, and slowly it is shown that Dookan is selling a fictitious brand of herself to her colleagues, the ADA's, and all who interact with her.

Burden Review – Powerful Engrossing Character Driven Performances

She is fabricating academic achievements, and personal relationships. Suddenly she set her sights on an ADA, sending and fabricating false email correspondences between alleged girlfriends which set the fictitious relationship in place. The ADA left his position as his reputation was irreparably injured and his objectivity and legal responsibility came into question.

Finally, Dookan was arrested for what was called "dry-labbing" which she produced and attested to findings by sight without chemical analysis. She was also sentenced in a plea deal.

Throughout the episodes the director introduces those who had been convicted through the shoddy testing procedures and sent to prison. Most were minorities, marginalized, without a voice, and without education or funding to advance any appeal or investigation.

Enter the defense attorneys.

As it were, two believers in the system, champions of justice, are featured as they try to have the Massachusetts Attorney General's office release the documents in the Farak case. It wasn't until the plea deal was made and no open case was pending that a single defense attorney, a dogged and diligent, decided to give it one more shot. In addition to finding more evidence of extensive drug use, by Farak, he eventually finds emails which provide insight into the fellow attorney's feelings about him. They were typical backbiting, bitchy, responses, based on feelings.

The Burnt Orange Heresy Review – Excellent, Intriguing, Riveting

By this time both women had served their sentences and were released. As they both accepted plea deals, they could be called to testify. It is at this time the scope of the drug abuse problem with Farak became known. Not simply two cases but more than nine years of cases.

So, by 2013 when the Massachusetts State Police arrested her for tampering with evidence, they found that was only the beginning. As criminal lab testing facilities have pure samples of every narcotic available through her personal sworn testimony Farak, from nearly day one of her nine-year tenure, had tried them all.

In addition to re-creations of Farak's compelling grand jury testimony and interviews with attorneys and experts, we hear from Farak's family for the first time, delving deep into how the actions of one crime lab employee can impact tens of thousands of lives.

It isn't just the chemist who contribute to this cover up and sham, it becomes the very system that is expected to be objective. It is also discovered the female attorneys involved in prosecuting the state's case against Farak were found to have committed a fraud on the court.

Greed Review – Inviting, A Front Row Seat for the Ultra Luxurious Lifestyle

How to Fix a Drug Scandal is absorbing with recreations from Farak's grand jury testimony, interviews from attorneys and journalists covering the case, actual news footage, Farak's family as well as those who stood to gain their freedom from falsified results. The series reveals, in actuality, how power and privilege clash and how the system will hide its own unless those who guard it demand, with relentless pursuit, that all be held accountable under the same law.

How to Fix a Drug Scandal premieres on Netflix April 1, 2020. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Eleven Boston Cops Wounded, Two Critically, by Body Armor Wearing Suspect

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Boston police officers shot and killed a gunman after he opened fire on responding officers wounding eleven and critically injuring two who are now fighting for their lives, in what has been called a domestic disturbance gone bad.

  • Summer Gift Guide 2016: Seven Hot Items Guaranteed to Make the Living Easy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Memorial Day ushers in the traditional summer season and why not gear up with items that’ll make life easy? Here are my hot product picks for fashionistas, functional decorators, Tech-Geeks and travel junkies that’ll please and appease in the months ahead.  

  • Money News: Big Giving for Small Nonprofits: How to Leave Your Legacy with Impact

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    While no one likes reminders of their mortality, there are some decisions that you can make today that will leave a lasting good long after your time on Earth. One of the most important steps you can take now is to choose a smaller, community-based organization to gift a portion of your remaining assets.

  • Whitney Houston Found Dead at Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whitney Houston, the multi-Grammy Award winning superstar, has been found dead in her room at the exclusive Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California.

  • World News: Israel Election Cliffhanger Has Bibi and Benny Deadlocked

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The results of the September 17 elections in Israel are a statistical tie. Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz are tied within the margin of error constituting a tie. Each leader is now looking to make a deal with minority vote-getting Avigdor Liberman to form a coalition government with the needed 61-Knesset seat minimum.

  • Family of Robin Williams Continues to Dispute Estate

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robin Williams, who committed suicide a year ago, in addition to leaving behind a devastated adoring fan base, friends, colleagues and equally devastated family members he also left a very large estate, the majority of which he gifted traditionally.

  • Whitney Houston Funeral Held At Childhood Church

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Whitney Elizabeth Houston, mother, daughter, friend, pop superstar, was remembered yesterday by those who knew her best during her 'Home Going' tribute at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.

  • Point and Shoot: The 10 Best Cameras for Summer Travel

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    From graduations and senior trips to vacations and backyard barbecues, summer is the time when memories are made — and recorded. The best cameras for summer travel are light, functional and, of course, affordable.  

  • French President Emmanuel Macron and Bad Boy Alexander Banalla

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Benalla affair, which has remained largely hidden, reveals a form of moral drift in our society with superficiality and a mediocrity becoming principles of operation also at the highest peak of the state. We will attempt to explain.

  • Celebrity Interview & Review: Oliver Stone’s South of the Border Review: Sizzling Hot

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Oliver Stone's newest film SOUTH OF THE BORDER, "A Political Road Movie" fills the back seat of the old beat up opinion and travels, through the seven countries of South America, serving up more heat than the media can handle.

  • Utah Miracle Baby Survives Car Crash, Sub-Zero Conditions

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Lily Groesbeck is the only survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her mother a sorrowful tragedy that happens all too often and in this accident the survivor, an infant, is being called a miracle baby and her mother an angel who never left her side.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump/COVID-19 Roundup, G7 United, Canada Mass Shooting, French Protests, Election

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump, who has maintained his daily COVID-19 briefs with credibility, lost ground this week by suggesting injecting disinfectants, isopropyl alcohol and bleaches could kill the coronavirus which the White House said were taken out of context.

  • The Internship Review – Google Laughter, Amusement and Techie Fun

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Internship,” the extremely funny and highly enjoyable, merging of the generations flick, from Twentieth Century Fox Film, Dune Entertainment and Regency Enterprises is coming soon to the home entertainment market.

  • Beauty, Style: Guide to Finding Your Best Look

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When you're looking to develop a personal fashion style you can be known for, it’s very important to research and make sure you know what kind of look you want to show off to the world.  

  • The Ekster Parliament 2.0 Review - The Newest Men’s Smart Wallet is this Season’s Hottest Gift Idea

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the world of Men's accessories one of the newest and quickly rising must have's is the RFID protected secret wallet, and one of the leaders in this new market is the fast rising crowdfunded European company Ekster.