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The state’s top court this week paved the way for the return of fines and fees to tens of thousands of defendants whose convictions were vacated in the wake of twin Massachusetts drug lab scandals.

The Supreme Judicial Court ordered the return of more than $8,000 to two individuals whose cases were dismissed in 2017 because of the unprecedented tampering by former chemist Annie Dookhan. The ruling also mandates the return of fees to some of the nearly 40,000 individuals whose cases were thrown out due to the Dookhan scandal and the separate tampering scandal at the state’s Amherst drug lab.

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