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State bans opioids from courtrooms over exposure fears

January 03, 2018 11:25 AM

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is banning some powerful opioids from courtrooms, because state court officials are worried people could be sickened by the drugs.

The new policy was outlined in a memo to Massachusetts trial court officials on Tuesday. It goes into effect in state courts on Jan. 8.

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Under the policy, fentanyl and carfentanil will be allowed into courthouses only under certain circumstances. That means lawyers wanting to present the drugs as evidence must use photographs, video or witness testimony.

The policy says the drugs may be entered as evidence if a judge determines it's necessary for the state to prove its case or "to protect a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial."

The president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has said he's unaware of any other state imposing such a ban.


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(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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